Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hailey ignores its citizens

I am disturbed that the Hailey City Council seems to open and close public comment willy nilly, without proper notification to the public, as was witnessed at the meeting on Aug. 31.

I understand the necessity of setting deadlines for comment submission. However, the council members can't just stick their fingers in their ears and say "we don't want to hear you anymore" whenever they feel like doing so. Public comment should be reopened at each new step taken by the City Council, anytime new information develops or conditions change. And no citizen should have to stand, begging to say something, while the council ignores them, as was also witnessed at the last meeting.

The City Council is to represent the people and it can't do it properly if it doesn't first listen to the people. Thus, the question comes to mind: When is the council going to answer the questions that the public has been asking? And, how can the public ask intelligent questions when they don't have the information they have requested? I asked questions months ago that have never been answered, as have many other citizens of Hailey.

Some years ago, my water pressure decreased in Woodside as development increased, and nothing was ever done about it. I want to know what the plan is to protect my water pressure if this new development takes place. Sure, the developer is going to put in a well—but a well-known hydrologist has stated that new well or not, there isn't enough water! The developer's claim that he knows there is plenty of water because he measured it during the heaviest rain season in recent memory is a joke. (But I'm not laughing.)

I would also like to know if anyone on the Hailey City Council stands to personally benefit monetarily from this new development. If it's possible, then we have a conflict of interest, and that person (or persons) should recuse himself or herself from the entire debate and discussion.

I would like to see an entire list of all the citizen questions that have been submitted to the council, along with the answers for which we have all been waiting, published in the local paper.

Gloria Carlton


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