Editorials

SUN HERALD | Editorial: Jackson County supervisors should listen to the people

AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALDSinging River Health System retirees have been attending meetings and voicing their opinions for months.
AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALDSinging River Health System retirees have been attending meetings and voicing their opinions for months.

Unfortunately, common sense remains in the minority at the Jackson County Board of Supervisors.

The two new supervisors suggested the board should be more transparent and should welcome the involvement of the people it serves.

Those ideas were voted down 3-2 Monday by the veteran board members Melton Harris, Barry Cumbest and Troy Ross.

Supervisor Ken Taylor wanted to hear comments from the public before the board votes on important matters, the Singing River Health System for example.

Nope, Harris, the board president, said, that would bog down the meeting.

"Our meeting is not to be swayed by public comment," Harris said.

Newly sworn in Supervisor Randy Bosarge said supervisors should listen to the people even if it takes six hours. Taylor didn't see how the timing of the comments would bog the meeting down.

We agree. Perhaps if supervisors had listened to the people they represent, they wouldn't find themselves in a predicament with SRHS.

They are clearly tired of hearing about that issue. When Taylor asked for a public meeting to catch the two new supervisors up on the effort to save the hospital and its faltering pension plan, Harris told him to read the newspaper.

Bosarge also resisted the board's routine secrecy when he refused to go into an executive session. And, after 30 minutes behind closed doors, supervisors agreed with him, saying the question of whether to reappoint board attorney Paula Yancey didn't amount to personnel matter that would merit a closed meeting.

We can only imagine what they were doing for those 30 minutes. And that's why executive sessions should be rare.

This editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions expressed by columnists, cartoonists and letter writers are their own.

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