Are you comfortable with allowing politicians to ram through legislation with less time for public input?
That’s exactly what the McCarthy Administration and some members of the County Council are hoping to achieve.
Enter Council President Joyce Bowlsbey, who days ago submitted legislation that would allow the council to rob the public of two weeks worth of time to voice their opinion on pending legislation.
Resolution 44-2017 would make it standard operating procedure for the council to vote “yea” or “nay” on bills moments after a public hearing has been held.
Currently, the public has two full weeks to lobby for or against legislation the after a public hearing has concluded.
But if Bowlsbey and company get their way, this will end very soon.
This isn’t the first time this type of power grab has been considered by our local politicians.
In 2015, Councilman Dan Schneckenburger called for allowing the council to vote on legislation immediately following public hearings.
Bowlsbey supported it then, along with Alan McCarthy who was at that time the Council Vice President.
However, public opposition forced the council to settle for an amendment that would allow them to introduce special “expedited” legislation is some circumstances.
But now it appears that the trio of Cecil Business Leaders for Better Government PAC backed politicians are taking another stab at acquiring more power.
Can any citizen feel confident that their concerns are being adequately considered by our council when they know that a final vote will take place moments later?
And how can council members research any issues that are brought up by their constituents if voting will take place the same evening?
If these politicians get their way, citizens will have no opportunity to listen to the speakers during public hearings, form their own educated opinion, and contact the council at a later time.
The proposal for post-hearing votes only leads us further in the direction of making it harder for citizens to have a voice in local government.
And since legislation can already be introduced with an “expedited” tag if time is of the essence, you have to ask yourself why there is a push to rush all future legislation.
I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to trust the same politicians that lied and promised to fight tax increases, only to stick it to us once in office.
Joyce Bowlsbey refused to reconvene the council to look for budget cuts that would prevent recent tax increases.
Now she is spearheading an attempt to cut you, the taxpayer, out of future conversations.
We cannot continue to allow politicians to shift the power away from citizens and into their own hands.
I urge you to take immediate action by picking up the phone and calling the County Council office to demand that Resolution 44-2017 be immediately withdrawn.
The Council will vote on this resolution on September 19th, so it is critical that they hear from you right now.
You and I can make a real difference by simply taking a moment to contact our local representatives and demand that they put our interests first.
We have had success in defeating bad legislation before and we can do it again – but only if you commit to taking action.
Thank you for your continued support of Cecil County Campaign for Liberty!