Daryl Schafer’s letter (CDT, Jan. 7) revealed several misunderstandings.
I attended and spoke at the Haines Township public hearing in December, and no one I heard was asking to “get their way.” The questions asked of the supervisors addressed specific concerns about specific issues in ordinances that were being voted on that evening.
Asking your local representatives questions at a public hearing cannot reasonably be considered “antagoniz[ing] the supervisors.” Any group that wishes to help shape a community’s future has the responsibility to communicate with the officials who are elected to pass laws that affect that future. Furthermore, the specific questions asked were various and important, and cannot be summarily answered by saying “I disagree.”
In spite of Schafer’s doubts, my hope is that there be a more substantial dialogue in our local government. The effort to encourage attendance (what Schafer called “recruiting”) at the public hearing was also just that — a desire for more voices in the conversation. That many residents fail to raise questions over an issue does not justify a lack of communication with those who do.
To my knowledge, public hearings like the one in December are one of the only ways available to have discussions on policies and ordinances, but not if the conversation partners won’t respond. This takes not only listening, but considering, thinking, responding, listening again. It’s a vital process that I hope we have more of in the future.