Clearing the air on council sessions

Home|Opinion|Editor's Column|Clearing the air on council sessions

We all make mistakes. Those mistakes are not always spiteful or premeditated, sometimes they are simply mistakes. A demonstration of genuine remorse can go a long way. Attempts to right the wrong go even further.

On that note, The Sheridan Press incorrectly referenced a comment made by Sheridan Mayor Dave Kinskey at the March 3 City Council meeting. It was printed that in response to attempts to arrange meetings between the Council and Sheridan County commisioners, the mayor commented that multiple meetings may be difficult to arrange since most Council members are volunteers. This was not correct. He said they are “workin’” and noted that the city is also approaching budget season. During the budget season, in years past, work sessions are held each weekday for weeks. The mayor noted that he could meet with Council members two at a time to get them up to speed.

We regret the error.

However, while the wording in the initial article (March 4) and as a result the editorial (March 5) was incorrect, The Press stands by its premise. The members of the City Council were elected to serve the people. This should be understood when running for office. Public meetings between two government bodies that must work closely together should be made a priority and not be looked at as an inconvenience.

The Sheridan County Commissioners have made a list, described for the March 4 Press article and then sent via email to the media and Sheridan City Council on Friday afternoon, of issues they would like to discuss.

On the opposite page, Kinskey takes us to task for not having all of our facts. But the issues discussed in the editorial were brought forward by the commissioners, not conjured by Press staff.

Yesterday’s email from the county lists seven issues they’d like to discuss in public meetings with the city.

The email is quoted below:

“1. Law enforcement center contract. The Law Enforcement Agreement was not renewed in July of 2013 and no agreement has been negotiated for the future.

“2. Municipal Court and Circuit Court. The shifting of workload and the length of time it takes to process juveniles through the system has increased. The timeliness of onset of provision of services is impacted.

“3. County road issues (MOU). Annexations of County properties that do not include the county road.

“4. Juvenile justice. Funding the program in adequate proportion to the clients it serves.

“5. SAWS. Annexations of County property owners that are current SAWS customers resulting in lost revenue.

“6. VIN inspections. Shifting of workload and the convenience of providing an important public service to the citizens.

“7. 1% Optional Renewal. Discussion on the renewal; potential election on Nov. 4, 2014.”

Meeting in groups of two or three allows messages and issues to get lost in translation and many of the issues have been ongoing for months. These meetings should be public and they should include as many members of the city and county elected bodies as possible.

By |March 7th, 2014|

About the Author:

Kristen Czaban joined The Sheridan Press staff in 2008 and covered beats including local government, cops and courts and the energy industry. In 2012, she was promoted and now serves as the managing editor for The Press. Czaban has a journalism degree from Northwestern University.