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Meetings should be transparent

On Oct. 25, at the Ironton City Council meeting, Jim Tordiff is quoted saying, “Those ordinances were never meant to be passed, it was just to start a conversation.”

The ordinances he was referring to were the same ones that were passed at 9 a.m. this past Saturday.

These ordinances were tabled at the October meeting with a promise of setting up a public meeting at Ohio University Southern because “the council wants to create a conversation about ideas to raise revenue.”

One big problem: No meeting was ever set up. Public input wasn’t asked for in a constructive, conversational way.

On Dec. 13, increased fees were again discussed at city council with Mr. Tordiff stating, “We have to find out, would you rather not have the police? Would you rather not have a fire department, rather than do the fees?”

How constructive is this, giving residents a choice between no police or fire protection versus paying increased fees?

Transparency is a great word that politicians use when they are running for office, it makes you feel comfortable.

Conversation is another good, solid word that is used to put people at ease.

The problem with both of these words is when they are not used when dealing with the constituents of a city.

Voting for raised fees took place at 9 a.m. on a Saturday in a special meeting. Why a special meeting? Why meet on one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year when most residents are with family, either Christmas shopping or enjoying the weekend at many of our region’s holiday events?

Everyone knows the city of Ironton has been struggling financially, and that council members have been working to fix the budget.

Ironton citizens are in agreement that the city needs more money and revenue. Many wanted a chance to be a part of the solution.

The city failed in that task. Shame on you.