I have attended the Loudon County Solid Waste Disposal Commission meetings for 2 1/2 years to offer my views, supported by numerous documents available to the public, on topics relevant to the meetings and discussions.
But I was surprised to see on this month’s agenda that chairperson Kelly Littleton-Brewster offered agenda item No. 3, asking commissioners to vote on limiting “items of public concern-public comments to 10 minutes person” and “no one will be allowed to yield their time to someone else."
I did speak at the May meeting for 26 minutes as the only resident attending and speaking. I presented two items — one was about 11 drawings showing different elevations for the landfill and the second was sharing TDEC’s Rule 0400-11-01-02 where a “change of ownership” i.e., the operator, “must submit a transfer of ownership form no later than 90 days prior to the schedule change." To my knowledge that was not done since the Santek representative said he knew nothing about this requirement.
I can only conclude that Littleton-Brewster’s agenda item was a direct response to my prior month’s presentation because the agenda was not posted prior to the meeting and caught everyone by surprise. LCSWDC does not hold workshops like Loudon County Commission, leaving only their monthly meeting for input from the public. During my prior presentation, the chairperson did not request that I wrap up at any time.
Whether the chairperson agrees with me is not the issue. Were the two items I brought of importance to commissioners or not? The landfill, including operations and the contract, is of vital importance to the residents of Loudon County.
Why would any commission ever stifle relevant public comments?