Sanford, New York Doesn’t Need A Ban on Fracking Talk – They Need the Civic Commons

From my latest:

When we’re talking public bodies, who gets to say, “enough’s enough” and then ban public dialogue at a public meeting?

This being the United States, intuition might tell you that no one does. If it’s a public body and a public meeting, then the public gets to talk. But, for starters, you’d be wrong here in Ohio where the law provides for a right to attend public meetings, but it does not provide for the public to have a right to participate or comment.

Punctuating the (perceived mis)use of a similar power, but in this case in New York, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy have sued the town of Sanford’s board for its September 2012 resolution that bans public comment on fracking:

The resolution said: “It is the determination of this Board that hereafter no further comment will be received during the public participation portion of this or any future meeting regarding natural gas development,” until the state’s environmental review was done.

Not so unreasonable?

Read the rest and start a conversation about it. Should electeds get to ban the public from what they can discuss?


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