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Liaison must be allowed to speak

By Staff | Jan 28, 2011

At the Jefferson County Commission meeting (1/20/11), Lyn Widmyer was refused permission to speak by our new commission president, Patsy Noland. We have five commissioners voted in by residents to represent citizen interests.

The topic under discussion was continuance of the Jefferson County Water & Advisory Committee. The purpose of this committee is oversight of county water sources and protection of individuals from questionable water providers. The Jefferson County Commission should be thrilled that qualified citizens are willing to volunteer their time to work on this important committee.

Lyn Widmyer is the liaison between the County Commission and the Water Advisory Committee. When the topic of dissolving the well functioning Water Advisory Committee was under discussion at the County Commission meeting, all commissioners, especially the liaison member, MUST be allowed to speak as long as necessary to explain their views before the discussion is closed.

Ms. Noland had no right to refuse to recognize Lyn Widmyer as a speaker. Lyn Widmyer, as the liaison to the Water Advisory Committee should be requested to speak fully, not prevented from speaking. If this exclusion of seated commissioners continues, Ms. Noland needs to step down as president.