Saturday, October 6, 2012

DuPage County Board - Evening Meetings

Lets face it the last thing anyone wants to do in the evening is attend a meeting.  The evening is a busy time.  Taking the kids to dance, soccer, football or whatever activity they are in.  Meet up with an old friend for dinner or just relaxing in front of the TV after a long day at work.  The evening is family time.

Attending meetings in the evening is what many of us do.  We attend village meetings that are held in the evenings.  Water Commission meetings are held in the evening.  League of Women Voter meetings are held in the evenings.  Why should the DuPage County Board be any different?  Many of us work durning the day so it is just about impossible to attend a meeting held by the DuPage County Board at 10:00 AM on Tuesdays.  How about those very important early in the morning  committee meetings.  It is important that these are held when the public can attend.

If the DuPage County Board held evening meetings this would allow for more participation from the public.  More participation from the public leads to a more transparent government.  The county has done a good job with the website.  The County Board meetings are televised.  These are good steps towards a more transparent government.  These do not however compare with attending a meeting.  You simply don't get the same perspective of the meeting by reading minutes or watching it on TV.

Morning meetings intentionally or not prohibit public comment.

Another argument for evening meetings is that this would open the pool of people who could run for DuPage County Board.  Many people can't get the time off their full time their jobs to run for DuPage County Board limiting the amount of choice.  Currently the Board is dominated by lawyers.  This could  lead to a more diverse board.

If we move the meetings to the evening there would be no more excuses that the $50,000 salary is needed to make up for missed work time.  The board members could receive a small stipend for their service. The days of the bloated salary would be gone.

I have heard about the cost associated with staff and evening meetings.  Having to pay overtime would be too costly.   The saving from the reduction of salaries of the board members would outweigh overtime costs.

I get it, nobody wants to take away from their evening activities, whatever they may be, but evening meetings make the most sense and it is the right thing to do.   As your DuPage County Board member I will make evening meetings a priority.

1 comment:

  1. Ms. Chaplin, I think you are one smart cookie! I wish you were in my district so I could vote for you. I hope your district elects you. I watched you on the debate and you did a stellar job. Too bad all those politicans don't care about the county as much as you do. Good luck!