Council has a duty to be fair

Council has a duty to be fair

At the Sept. 5 Canfield City Council meeting, a letter addressed to council was read in public session in regard to the charter amendments on this year’s ballot. These amendments reduce terms and limit the years of service to a maximum of six. Council members who have more than 6.5 years cannot be re-elected in 2013 and 2015. A person can be re-elected after sitting out one term.

The letter opposed these charter amendments and was read in its entirety at the council meeting and entered into the public record. The letter was written by an ex-city official.

At the Sept. 19, meeting, I presented a letter to be read in public session supporting the charter amendments. The letter was presented to the clerk of council two days before the meeting and each member of council had a copy prior to the meeting.

Council would not read the letter. Their response was “they have the option” of which letters may read in public session.

In other words, “if we do not like what is contained in the letter, we will not read it.” Council does have the obligation to be fair. If they elected to present one side of the issue in public session, they have an obligation to present the other side of the story in public session and be in the public record.

Apparently council will do whatever it takes to quash debate on these charter amendments. After all, some of them may not be eligible for re-election if the issues pass, and it is not in their interest to shed more light on the issue.

It is disappointing to see our elected officials act with such bias.

Frank A. Micchia, Canfield