Wednesday, November 2, 2011

City of Bellevue let citizens down

A Bellevue town hall meeting (also referred to as a "public hearing") was held May 9 to "gather information from the citizens as to their wishes concerning the Bellevue Fire Department." Upon conclusion of the meeting, the mayor and City Council said the city would "host another Town Hall in the near future when additional information is available." (Minutes Bellevue Common Council, May 9, 2011, p. J of l) This subsequent hearing was never held.

I attended a City Council regular meeting on Sept. 29. I asked the council why another town hall meeting was never held as mentioned at the May 9 hearing. I was told, "the issue had been on our agenda almost every week and there was plenty of opportunity for the public to learn about it." I rephrased the question for council candidates at the Pizza & Politics night on Oct. 20. I asked them if they believed the citizens of Bellevue had been given enough information on the proposed fire bond to be able to make an informed decision on how to vote. I received the same answer from two of the candidates: "This issue has been on our agenda almost every week and there was plenty of opportunity for the public to learn about it."

At each of these meetings, the council members ignored the difference between a line item on an agenda and a public hearing.

Regular council meetings offer an opportunity for the council to discuss various issues openly, but the council is not obligated to take public input. I have noted on some occasions that the Council cuts people off short when it does not want to engage the public.

A public hearing is an invitation to the public to make comments on a specific issue and to allow the council to provide taxpayers with in-depth information about the issue so citizens can be informed and make a decision.

I fully appreciate the Bellevue Fire Department and volunteers. They have been inadequately funded for more than 30 years. However, without additional information I had hoped to receive at another town hall meeting on the subject, I am not able to make an informed decision. Therefore, I will vote "no."

Dorothy Schinella


About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.