Gay did good job being ‘nosy’

Published 4:15 pm Tuesday, February 19, 2019

I am writing to publicly thank my magistrate, Jamey Gay, for being “nosy” at the recent fiscal court meeting. That is EXACTLY what I want from the magistrate who represents me. The public’s business MUST be conducted in open, public meetings and discussions about issues need to be comprehensive.

The committee reports portion of the fiscal court agenda is precisely the place for Magistrate Gay’s question about the city/county “working group” on Parks and Recreation and it could have been easily answered politely and without rancor in the time Magistrate Phil Sammons was refusing to provide information.

While I was not at last Tuesday’s meeting, I have attended fiscal court meetings fairly regularly for several years and have observed Magistrate Sammons attempting to curtail discussion by calling for the question or saying “move it right along” many times. There are times when discussions in government meetings get “in the weeds” and need to wrap up, however, there are also issues that need in-depth consideration. Just because a meeting has been an hour long doesn’t mean that important matters should be dropped or tabled. Nor does it mean that magistrates should resort to name calling.

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Magistrate Sammons owes Magistrate Gay a public apology, which I hope he will deliver at the next fiscal court meeting.

I was in attendance at the special called meeting of the Danville City Commission and the Boyle Fiscal Court to discuss the Parks and Recreation long range plan. I was dismayed that neither the city attorney nor the county attorney attended.

I am not an attorney, but it is my understanding that in a special called meeting only items on the published agenda may be discussed. When Judge-Executive Hunt brought up the jail in the discussions, that, in my opinion, was clearly inappropriate. Had one or both attorneys been there, that issue, which took away from the Parks and Rec discussion, could have been quickly curtailed.

I fully support cooperation between our local governments but it is important for all involved to understand procedural constraints, including open meetings legal requirements, which Magistrate Ellis and Magistrate Cullen nearly violated in a recent waste management committee meeting.

Thanks to the Advocate-Messenger for being “nosy” and keeping us informed about our local governments!

Jane S. Brantley