Night meetings better used as campaign plank than in reality

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Our Views

By The Staff

There should be absolutely no reason not to have one of the fiscal court meetings each month in the evening hours.

The positives for such a change should be overwhelming.

Then, why hasn’t it been done in the past?

Because it has.

Under the John Harper administration, there were several night-time meetings held. Some of those may still be going on.

It is great for candidates to use that as an item to talk with voters. And most voters would have to say that it is a great idea.

The problem is that reality is often a better indicator of a situation.

When the attempt to hold night-time meetings was held in the past, several issues were obvious.

First, when you have a two-hour meeting and a two-hour executive session, it’s easier to take if the meeting ends at 1:30 p.m. rather than 11 p.m.

Second, employees who are on the clock during the normal 9:30 a.m. meetings are less expensive than when they are at a 7 p.m. meeting.

Third, only a few more people attended the night-time meetings. And those who did, usually were there to gripe.

Once again, why shouldn’t we have night-time meetings?

Because it just doesn’t make a lot of sense.

If there is a big issue, such as a rezoning issue, fiscal court could always hold a special meeting.

If the issue is big enough for an individual, they will find a way to attend the normal morning session.

Other governmental agencies meet at night. The very important school board would meet on the third Tuesday of each month, which is the night selected for fiscal court’s evening gathering.

From experience in covering every municipal meeting, every school board meeting and every zoning meeting for the past quarter century, the majority of the people in the audience are those who have business with the agency or are looking to keep informed about their community.

As important as the school board meetings should be, there would be only a couple members of the general public in attendance - unless they were required to attend.

If we felt such a change would be in the best interest of Bullitt County, we’d be all in favor. However, we just don’t feel that a large number of people would attend. In fact, some of those who do regularly attend in the morning might not be as inclined to attend at night.

The argument has always been there for night meetings. Every community does things differently and there is no right or wrong answer.

However, we would like to suggest a quarterly night-time roundtable with all the county agency supervisors in attendance. The magistrates and county judge would certainly be invited.

It would be interesting to see if a crowd showed up to discuss issues or concerns.