Lee County Commission Watch

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This page space is purchased in response to “streamlining” the Lee County Commission Agenda to impede citizen input from being viewed and placed into the official record.

One of the more effective enablers of snubbing citizens’ input championed ‘streamlining’ the Lee County Commission Agenda passed by fellow commissioners with customary ‘unanonymity’ as the chair has been known to assert when all vote in lockstep. Once again public interest rhetoric (streamlining) offered little change to benefit citizens but was passed in another successful effort by commissioners to block input from those who pay them.

The most noteworthy change was to place the “citizen comment” agenda item before a Commission meeting is called to order.  This is important to understand. The change essentially ensures citizen input is NOT seen by those watching the audio/video feed.  More importantly, this ends records of commissioners being put on notice of wrongdoings while commissioners are officially called to order/in session. With no actual ‘streamlining’ in the proposed change, one wonders what is in fact private interest motives for the agenda format change after so many years of allowing comment on record. As the Gospel of John teaches, be wary of those who evoke caring about the poor to cloak their avarice.

Public Comment was given by two citizens Monday night.

• Peter Byrd discussed a claim of fraud at EAMC.

“Taxpayers may not be aware of it, but we taxpayers all pay a special hospital tax that is added to our property tax but not specifically identified in the taxpayer love letters. This tax generates about ten million dollars a year and is transferred to EAMC. This special hospital tax cannot be discontinued until the bonds and debts are paid off … Months ago I asked the commission to encourage EAMC to comply with HIPPA law and allow me to access my medical records. EAMC has not allowed me to see my records yet. The commission could choose not to approve another bond until EAMC complies with HIPPA law.

“ … I stand again to ask the commission to encourage EAMC to post these prices because to date it has not posted the prices. Rumor has it that EAMC is preparing to ask the commission to approve yet another bond issue. I’m hoping that no commissioner will approve a new bond without stipulating that the hospital complies with HIPPA law and public health service laws. Do not vote yes to an entity that has been found guilty of fraud and lack of price transparency.”

• Melissa McConnell asked about the possibility of broadband internet in her area of Beauregard, Lee Road 39 as part of the American Rescue Plan funding for Lee County.

“We’re having a hard time getting internet access out in that area,” she said. “I wasn’t really big on it, but when the pandemic hit and our kids went virtual it was really, really hard to get good internet access.”

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