According to a recent issue of the TimesDaily, the Lauderdale County Commission now requires anyone that wants to speak at a meeting must sign a form ahead of time, and only two citizens, whether pro or con, may express their view. Everyone else is excluded.

It is no surprise to me that they have changed their rules on the input of the citizens right to question policy, or express a view during a meeting.

What could be more aggravating than having to answer to a citizen’s grievance or view that opposes their own. After all, they were elected; ergo, in their mind they have attained omnipotent intelligence beyond the scope of the average citizen.

The last part of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States reads: “... shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances ...”

The definition of abridge is to diminish, and while the Lauderdale County Commission has not totally silenced input from citizens, it certainly has diminished their input by making it more difficult in addressing grievances or views.

Dossey O’Steen


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