In the shadow of a threatened FOIA-related lawsuit and ongoing citizen criticism over a shady loan to county administrator, John Barkley (aka Barkley-gate), Greene County faces a new, brewing scandal.
During the last several public board meetings, concerned residents and former elected officials repeatedly excoriated supervisors and County Administration during “matters by the public,” over inaction on Barkley-gate and the Supervisors’ subsequent defense of their previous judgement. In response, the Board, presumably led by Chair, David Cox (who sets the agenda), has “solved” the problem of excess critique. They simply have removed “matters by the public” from the July 28 Board of Supervisors agenda.
A July 23 letter to the Board, from Neil Williamson of the Free Enterprise Forum, characterizes the Board’s decision as: “a deliberate choice NOT to hear from the public regarding matters of their concern.”
Williamson continues with advice for the Greene County Board:
“Please do not eliminate this important meeting agenda item because you don’t like what the public is saying. Perception is reality. Elimination of this agenda item sends the wrong message to Greene County that our leaders do not want to hear from the citizens.”
Despite Greene County media’s spineless refusal to cover corruption and ineptitude in local government, light is being shone on the failures of the current board and their chosen administration—and citizens are responding vehemently. Solving the current set of self-created problems by attempting to gag those courageously speaking out will surely backfire on David Cox and those who share his sinuous methodology.