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What can be said in just 10 minutes?

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What’s wrong with the first paragraph in the following press release from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife? (Hint: It has something to do with the  time allocated for the public to speak.)

“The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and the Rogue SMU Fall Chinook Conservation Plan advisory committee will meet April 5 at the Chetco Public Library, 405 Alder Street, Brookings. The meeting runs 6 to 8:30 p.m. and the public has 10 minutes to comment at the end of the meeting.

Ten minutes? They don’t know Brookings-Harbor very well, now do they. Just two of our regular public speakers could easily take up those 10 minutes. 

From time to time, government entities forget that the purpose of their public meetings is to engage the public; to get public opinions and feedback on decisions that directly or indirectly impact our communities.

Ten minutes hardly seems long enough to accomplish that. Perhaps that’s the intent?

Seeking public opinion can get messy. It can complicate an otherwise routine meeting and, GASP!, take up time.


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