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Letter to the Editor: "Allow the Public to Participate"

Hightstown resident speaks on the proposed three minute public comment period at council meetings.

Dear Editor:

The word Coot is the name of a water dwelling bird, a term for a foolish old man, and an acronym for the Closed Openness and Opaque Transparency in Borough Government supported by Larry Quattrone. COOT is obviously an oxymoron in the genre of rigid flexibility and flexible rigidity. 

Also Council Person Quattrone, wants to be a  true oxymoron in terms of being an elected member of government that does not want to publicly listen to the public who elected him. Council Person Quattrone has proposed not only going to the three minute rule during public comment at Borough Council meetings but also a restriction on subject matter during the first public comment session all for the purpose of shortening the time length of Borough council meetings.

So we have Bibens, Bluth, Doran, Thibault and Woods on the side of openness and transparency in Borough government who believe it is their responsibility to listen to the public and Quattrone who prefers to listen to the public in private at Dom's garage where he conducts private sessions for public comments. It all comes down to Quattrone's smoke screen on length of time taken by public comment to maintain closed and opaqueness of Borough government by limiting public comment and the content of public comment.

Openness and transparency take time, allow the public to participate and to be informed, and deny elected council members exclusivity in addressing Borough problems. Allowing the public to understand and participa"te in Borough issues through transparency prevents bad solutions to complex problems. This cannot be tolerated by Council person Larry Quattrone who prefers bad solutions hidden from the public and created in the quiet back room of Dom's garage.

It appears Council Person Quattrone has heard nothing new during the public comment in his twelve years on council. And what he has heard has been ignored since his agenda excludes ideas from the public or new council members. Twelve years on Borough Council and an attitude of closed and opaque government being better than open and transparent government says it is time for Larry Quattrone to spend his time organizing and managing the Memorial Day Parade where public comment is praise for his efforts in creating bigger and better memorial day parades. He could also be suffering from the childhood disease, Cooties, or maybe he is just a Coot intolerant of OT, Openness and Transparency or Over Time at meetings.

Carpe diem,

- Eugene E, Sarafin
Hightstown Resident 

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