Fireworks continue to be a hot button issue for many Gardner residents.
An ordinance change several years ago which allowed the discharge within city limits has drawn both praise and ire from area residents.
People either love them, or hate them. Past council meetings have found both residents, and some council members, testy and short.
But kudos to Gardner city government for courteously allowing residents to make public comments last week regarding discharge dates.
It appears dates for discharge may again change, depending partially on the outcome of an online survey. The survey is not foolproof: since it is online, those without internet access may not be aware, and users can answer the survey multiple times.
The survey is a start, but what’s really good is the council is transparent and interacts.
It’s nice to have them listen attentively and respond courteously.
Unfortunately it’s different at USD 231.
The board doesn’t usually interact, and they make it difficult for patrons to address the board. They are also much less transparent regarding issues and agendas.
Patrons have complained board members, or the superintendent, often do not have the courtesy to respond.
The problem was highlighted when taxpayers concerned about COVID policy had to wait outside to address the board, if they were allowed to do so. Inquisitive patrons are stonewalled at every turn; chain of command, comment cards, time limit, lack of agenda, amended agendas, inconvenient times and a preoccupation with ZOOM meetings.
Ask too many questions, or be persistent, the district’s attorney may step in to respond, usually before the district’s administrator.
That’s been this newspaper’s experience recently when we questioned a special ZOOM meeting for July 13, a month after the attorney general said board’s should return to in person meetings, and that patrons should be allowed to attend.
The superintendent/administration did not respond – not to basic questions, deferring instead to the board’s attorney.
That makes us wonder all the more what the secret is, what’s going to be voted on, and why it takes an attorney to (not) answer those questions.
So we’re pleased the city council (both Edgerton and Gardner) are transparent and pleasant.
The “tone” of Gardner city council has changed from one we used to complain about to a more professional demeanor.
We don’t have to always agree on the topic to appreciate professionalism.
Thank you.