Here is the speech I gave during public comment section of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners meeting on January 24, 2012:
I am here to address Cobb County’s Alternative Analysis designed to bring Rail into Cobb.
Out of the 5 meetings in December, only 2 were in the evening when most residents can even attend.
The next round has been consolidated into one February meeting, however this sole meeting is again during working hours. The scheduling of these meetings is unacceptable because it intentionally excludes residents.
These meetings are being scheduled specifically for the paid consultants, paid employees and paid special interests. Quite frankly, their schedule should not be the primary concern. If they didn’t want evening meetings, they should not have taken on this job.
I know that Residents are able to call and email thoughts in, however, we are now expected to be psychic and know what was discussed at the meetings so that we can respond. We know from the report of the December meetings that 6 pages of residents’ comments were left out entirely. These comments were Selectively Omitted. These Selective Omissions included comments that were in conflict with the Predetermined Conclusion. Comments that did not conflict with the Predetermined Conclusion were included.
You either want public input or you don’t and it appears that you don’t.
This is unacceptable. This study is being paid for by taxpayer funds and is blatantly biased. I understand that a substantial portion of the study funding is from federal grants, but it is still taxpayer money and We Deserve Better.