Letter to the editor 2, Feb. 16, 2017
For, not by
Hudsonites were formally informed at January's council meeting that council meetings are held for the residents but not by the residents. This injunction was repeated at a question period in February's Meeting. Someone speaking for the town did not like the direction of a comment by a citizen. In effect the citizen was called out of order, or gagged if you will.
The 'for, not by' wording of the injunction both opens a gap between council and residents and, during the meetings, holds the citizens in an ineffective, muzzled position. One consequence is an unwholesome pollution of the atmosphere in the meeting hall. However the mutual antagonism is avoidable.
Council, rightly, controls the meetings by setting the agenda. The agenda can be enlarged to include correspondence as a set feature. Correspondence includes the communications written by residents to the town government together with its replies.
These ideas, questions, and responses, being encouraged and mandated in the monthly agendas, are openly pronounced at all regular council meetings. Meetings for, and by, the residents simultaneously.
I used to live in a town twice the size of Hudson where such was the practice. It works.