Thank you to the Gardner City Council for hosting an open meeting regarding the proposed roundabout at Waverly and Madison.
It was informative, well presented, and everyone was allowed to voice their opinion.
The public hearing was Sept. 21, and residents, the Gardner Edgerton School District and the Johnson County Fire Department voiced their concerns or opposition to the roundabout.
Most concerns revolved around its necessity, ability to navigate and student safety.
In the end, the roundabout proposal was tabled for further discussion and input from USD 231, who opposed it.
No matter what the outcome ultimately is, what was refreshing was the open way in which the meeting was conducted.
USD 231, due to COVID concerns, has been limiting attendance at their board of education meetings and requesting those wishing to address the board to notify them before time.
Speakers, and those attending, are required to sit in the hall and watch the meeting on video.
We understand the precautions, and USD 231 apparently adheres to the requirements temporarily imposed due to COVID.
But what’s unfortunate is their requirements further distances the BOE from patrons, who have questions regarding remote learning, academics and sports programs.
We believe the board of education should encourage attendance at meetings. Information is key at this time, and more transparency would lessen the speculation and discontent that is brewing on social media.
If there are concerns regarding social distancing due to space limitations at the board office – move the meeting to a larger location so the public can be involved.
Gardner City Council did the right thing by encouraging public discussion .
There is no doubt the roundabout will continue to be controversial.
But whatever the outcome, open public debate is appreciated.