Citizens deserve their due

Published 12:54 pm Tuesday, April 27, 2010

When Vincent Mayor Ray McAllister was interviewed for the story, “Vincent mayor says space scarce for meetings,” he was up front and direct.

He said he feels the town just doesn’t have many places to hold a council meeting, other than the building designed for exactly that purpose — the town hall.

However, citizens are concerned. Since only a limited number can fit inside the town hall, many are worried they’re missing out on discussion and debate on an issue — a proposed limestone quarry — that could shape the direction of Vincent for decades to come.

We understand the mayor’s concerns about the other possible venues. Budgets are tight, and the town doesn’t have much extra money to pay Vincent Middle/High School to keep the gym open every time there’s a council meeting. The town’s fire station has inadequate parking and seating as well as no air conditioning, so at best, it’s an uncomfortable location.

None of that changes the fact right now, citizens feel they aren’t fully aware of what happens at Vincent Town Council meetings. When citizens feel that way, elected officials are charged with the responsibility to do everything they can to change it.

We feel Vincent’s officials stop short of that responsibility. They’re making an effort, yes, but having citizens stay in another room or outside, trying to catch the conversation of several people through a lone microphone, just isn’t fair. Hold meetings outside, if you have to, but make sure the citizens get their due.