At last week’s Hancock County Commissioners meeting, nearly 50 local residents joined in to discuss requests for additional equipment, including “riot gear,” made by our Sheriff’s Department. These meetings typically begin with a public comment section. This time things were a little different. The large public interest — rather than inspiring the commissioners’ chairman, Bill Clark — caused him to question whether it was possible for dozens of citizens to make public comments. At his request, comments were pushed to the end of the meeting, well after agenda items were discussed and approved. When finally allowed, the comments showed intense and thoughtful interest in how our county’s law enforcement personnel can best protect our people. Unfortunately, Commissioner Clark remained uninterested in public input and left the meeting for a time as the comment period began.
Thankfully our other two commissioners — Antonio Blasi and John Wombacher — and the dozens of fellow citizens at the meeting still believe that democracy is carried best by its people and their voices. The commissioners and sheriff have agreed to continue an open discussion about how to best use our limited resources for a safer, kinder county. Inquire with the commissioners’ office to add your voice.