Two Baltimore County Council members say the public has not said one word about a proposed resolution which seeks to shift the work session meeting time to allow for more public participation. But an email record shows that at least one member of the public did.
A vote during a meeting about a meeting time change – which has been postponed until another meeting – brought out some strong opinions by some Baltimore County Council members on Monday night.
At issue is shifting the time of the council’s work sessions from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm in order to encourage more public participation and improve transparency.
Through a bipartisan effort, Councilmen Wade Kach (R), Izzy Patoka (D) and David Marks (R) asked fellow members to consider the shift to a later start time after hearing from constituents that doing so would allow for public testimony prior to council votes on contracts, government spending, bills and resolutions.
But at least two council members say it’s unnecessary since they haven’t heard from a “single” person on the matter.
On Monday, Democratic Councilwoman Cathy Bevins said, “… I have not received a single phone call or email…”
Republican Todd Crandell said… “I have to say that we haven’t, in our office, received one mention of this resolution since it was made public weeks ago….”
Nonetheless, there was at least one mention when Baltimore County school board member, Julie Henn, penned a letter that she addressed to Council Chairwoman Bevins and the rest of the Baltimore County Council last week.
In the letter, Henn points out that even the school board holds its meetings in the evenings to allow for the public’s participation. And she is encouraging the council to do the same.
Henn’s letter is published as written.
On Monday, Feb. 18, the council will vote on an amended version of the resolution which initially sought to change the work session start times from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. The majority of the council approved the amendment on Monday night to change the time to 4:00 pm, as a compromise with council members who are opposed to making the change.
Council Members Bevins and Crandell did not immediately respond to a request for comment or clarification.