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The voters will decide

By Staff | Jan 15, 2009

To the editor,

I want to congratulate you, and in particular Tammy Zink, for her excellent coverage in the Island Reporter of City Council’s action on Jan. 6, to replace Dr. David Berger as a member of the Planning Commission. More than just report the outcome, the article picked up on the sense of frustration by citizens at the lack of openness in the decision-making process.

Many of us who were present were extremely disappointed, not just by the result but by what appeared to be the dismissive attitude, particularly of those who voted to oust Dr. Berger toward the many citizens who attended the meeting and spoke in his behalf. Despite a request to do so, not one of the three – Jim Jennings, Kevin Ruane or Marty Harrity – would explain publicly the reason for his decision.

No one disputes Council members’ right to appoint anyone they please to the Planning Commission. Ultimately, the voters will decide at the polls whether they approve or disapprove of those choices. What was distressing was the lack of openness in the process. The outcome was obviously predetermined and the reasons not made subject to spontaneous public scrutiny at the meeting. Mr. Harrity’s offer to discuss the matter in private does not correct the situation – it highlights the problem!

Larry Schopp

Sanibel