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County to continue night meetings for now

Experiment divides Clark commissioners.


Clark County commissioners decided to continue one night meeting per month on a temporary basis to gauge public interest.

Commissioners began holding night meetings the first week of every month in October and will continue doing so through the first quarter of 2014, beginning Jan. 8.

Crowds at most of the night meetings held at the Springview Government Center, 3130 E. Main St., have been small, but a public meeting about a proposed transfer station and recycling center held earlier this month attracted about 40 people.

However, only about one or two people from the public attend the traditional morning county commission meetings held at commission office, 50 E. Columbia St., on the fifth floor.

“If you hadn’t scheduled that December event that brought in 30 people, I don’t know that the evening events are benefiting us. The three or four that spoke the loudest quit coming after the first meeting,” Commissioner John Detrick said. “I’m willing to try it another month or two just to see how it goes. The overtime we’ve got, the stress on the staff, I want to go back to day meetings, but I’ll try it two more more months. But I want to go on record that I’m not wild about it.”

Commissioner Rick Lohnes said feedback officials received during sales tax hearings earlier this year prompted the board to agree to one night meeting per month on a temporary basis.

Lohnes said officials will re-evaluate the night meetings in March.

“We’re going to do it for another quarter. It seems like we had some pretty good showing. But the same people who show up in the evenings are the same people who can show up in the morning,” Lohnes said.

Lohnes said while the night meetings will remain at the Springview Government Center, public meetings and public hearings will be held downtown for security reasons.

Commissioner David Hartley said during his campaign for re-election that he wanted the board to hold night meetings.

“I’ve always wanted night meetings. If somebody has something to say, we should be available for them,” Hartley said.

“If you work at night, you can come, but if you work during the day it’s going to be awfully hard. If we have them once a month, that would be very nice even if people don’t show up. We’re sure to have more than we do for the morning meetings.”


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