Dunn, Gainer are right
In regard to revising the Wood County Commission public meeting schedule, Commissioners Wayne Dunn and Steve Gainer are correct in trying to make sensible revisions.
The real commission work is not done while the three commissioners are “in session” ad nauseam on their majestic thrones every Monday and Thursday. In the real world, effective commissioners, mayors and council people spend countless face-to-face hours working with staff and responding to constituents outside of formal meeting times.
No other county commission in the state makes people wait hours for appointments like is done here in Wood County. The Kanawha County Commission (which has a bigger budget and much larger workload than the Wood County Commission) meets in session for public decisions and input only two evenings per month, but conducts its real work with staff at the courthouse and constituents throughout the county almost every day of the week.
The substance of Wood County Commission public meetings can easily be accomplished during two evening sessions per month (similar to Parkersburg and Vienna city councils). In that format, citizens would not be forced to wait for a slot (as is currently the Wood County Commission practice). Instead, citizens would be able to attend and effectively express concerns publicly at a time when other people (and the press) are actually present to listen.
Under the current empty room meeting practice, nobody in the public ever hears any individual citizen’s concerns unless by chance a media representative happens to be present and elect to report.