letters to the editor
To the Editor:
In recent Whitehall-Coplay Press articles, attention was drawn to the unacceptable form of government practiced the past five years in Coplay. A clarification is needed.
Coplay council for decades had seven council committees. Each council member was a chair of a committee. Committees were unwisely increased to 15 committees during the past three years or so.
The 15 council committee format unwittingly stifled council debate and stifled public participation in Coplay government affairs. Council members who asked questions were told a committee would handle the question. Residents asking questions at council meetings were told a committee would provide their answer. Little to no answers were delivered.
No committee meetings were documented or advertised. The newspaper called us out on the practice of private committee meetings.
Monthly workshop and council meetings were brief. There was a question about when council business was done because it appeared that it was not completed publically.
There are now five Coplay council committees instead of 15. When they meet out of the public eye it will be for "information gathering" only. They will make no deliberations or take any votes at closed to the public meetings. Council meetings will include open, rich and robust discussion before action is taken – all in the public eye.
The efforts to correct this unacceptable form of government are successful. I am happy to report the November workshop and regular meeting were lengthy and of substance. Open government has returned. The challenge moving forward is to have our Coplay government remain open.
Bill Leiner Jr.
Coplay council member