Only one member of the public spoke at Tuesday’s Franklin County Commission meeting, an unusual downturn from meetings in recent months during which several citizens have expressed their dislike for the elected body’s policies and actions.
Eric Reichert, Villa Ridge, who for months has been critical of the county’s intent to refinance lease-back bonds and the commission’s limitations placed on public comments at its public meetings, this week accused the commission of violating its own recently adopted policy — commission order 2012-140 — which established a policy for public comments.
Reichert said the commission’s decision earlier this month to prohibit public comments about nonagenda items violated the policy it had adopted previously.
That policy said citizens could speak at the meetings if they signed up in advance detailing the nature of their questions or comments.
Presiding Commissioner John Griesheimer suspended the policy in early July, only three weeks after adopting it.
“(The) commission has no authority to unilaterally declare that no discussion items will be accepted until further notice,” Reichert said.
Commissioners did not address Reichert’s comments.
His comments were similar to ones made when Griesheimer suspended the policy, when he called the decision an “edict to avoid a legitimate discussion item.”
Last week Griesheimer was equally critical of Reichert, Ron Keeven and Art LeBeau. The three men are plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the county pertaining to the bond refinancing.
Griesheimer said the men were responsible for degrading the decorum of the meetings and making it difficult to conduct business.