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Letter to the Editor: Why can't the public attend a work session?


Editor:

What's the status of maintaining a lock-up in Shenandoah County?

I asked Board of Supervisors Chairman Conrad Helsley this question Monday. He stated that "a committee was formed to look into possible processing sites for law enforcement use."

This committee consists of numerous appointees and elected officials. After talking with some members of this committee, I find out that the committee was not supposed to look at processing sites. It was designed to address transportation issues and law enforcement coverage services (impact on the county and towns).

This change in committee objective by Helsley is part of the problem with our local government. In the interest of "transparency," I asked the county if I could attend the next committee meeting. I was told "the meeting we are referring to is our working group and is not an open meeting."

Why is this meeting exempt from public access? Now what are they planning to do with taxpayer money? I was told "we haven't made any decisions yet." That's good news, but the public doesn't even know what is being suggested.

Unless the county changes its mind after this letter appears in the paper, the next committee meeting is at 1 p.m. Friday in the work session room next to the board room in the Government Center.

Cindy Bailey, Woodstock


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