Sometimes it's difficult for Joe Citizen to be involved in town, school, county and state government. But it doesn't mean he doesn't want to be. The average person works a 40 hour week balanced with a home life, so attending evening and/or daytime government meetings can be a burden. But it can be almost certain that if an important issue surfaces on a government agenda, especially one concerning his hometown life, Joe Citizen will try to make time for that gathering.
But Joe Citizen can't do that if the agenda doesn't specify issues slated to be discussed.
In recent weeks, rumors have circulated Tomahawk that the Lincoln County Tomahawk Annex might close. The Tomahawk Leader even received a few concerned calls, searching for the answer as to what was going on. We didn't know, either.
The concern regarding changes with the Annex came up Friday at a Lincoln County Finance and Insurance Committee meeting under the agenda item, "Review/Modify 2006 Budget." While the Tomahawk Annex issue was indeed part of reviewing and modifying the 2006 budget, would that title signify to you the committee would be addressing continued services at the northern location? We didn't think so.
It becomes frustrating for our newspaper because we strive to keep the public informed on issues that matter. Services at the Tomahawk Annex mean a lot to our local citizens, and we hope that we can do our part to keep people up-to-date on related discussions. In turn, a citizen should be able to read an agenda and know what a board, committee or governmental body will be discussing. Taxpayers shouldn't have to read between the lines.
At last month's County Board meeting, a supervisor also cited this problem. She wondered how she was supposed to interpret the agenda item "Revising Administrative Structure" as naming the county's administrative coordinator to administrator. As she noted, she wasn't opposed or for the notion, she simply wished the agenda item had been clearer.
For those who missed the agenda item regarding the Tomahawk Annex on the Finance and Insurance agenda, look for a related story in this week's Tomahawk Leader.