In my relatively short lifetime, I've had the opportunity to attend several different meetings held by a variety of organizations. In many cases, it's not uncommon to see those in attendance come unprepared. They may have an agenda, but often don't have anything to offer in the way of a constructive plan.
When it comes to government, though, even at the local level, one expects to see a bit more preparedness. That's why I was somewhat surprised at the actions of some of Elizabethtown's town councilmen at their last town board meeting April 21.
The fact is absences by Phil Hutchins, Ken Fenimore, and Joe Martin during the past couple months have delayed decisions on some rather weighty issues; namely a law on outdoor wood boilers that the board, as a whole, seems as reluctant as ever to pass.
Barring any family emergencies, I think if I was getting paid to go to a nightly meeting once a month, I'd be there.
I have to hand it to Mr. Fenimore for coming in with a proposed amendment to the law, but surely he must have realized it would have had to go through another public hearing if amended. On the other hand, perhaps the bigger issue is how, in October, Hutchins and supervisor Noel Merrihew voted to go ahead with the process of a proposed law that they knew they were never going to pass.
Then there was the issue of the golf course and Mr. Martin up in arms about how the board could possibly forego raising the rates this year. Martin had a slew of good arguments for doing so, and a rather good point about why the entire board doesn't meet publicly with golf course manager Bruce McPhail to discuss the issue. However, he came without a detailed plan for new rates, and, in the face of opposition, gave up trying to formulate one on the spot.