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COLUMN: Voters expect, deserve explanations

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By Shannon Brock

Monday night, the Spencer County Fiscal Court voted not to approve the sale of alcohol on Sundays, but those attending that meeting have no idea why.
The issue was placed on the agenda several meetings ago by Magistrate Jerry Davis. One could assume because Davis brought up the issue, he was in favor of expanding the sale of alcoholic beverages to Sundays from 1 p.m. to midnight.
So, it’s no surprise Davis made the motion to approve the ordinance.
Magistrate Hobert Judd seconded the motion for the purpose of putting the issue out there for discussion.
But there was no discussion.
What followed was a vote, which ended with two in favor and four against. The motion failed. The meeting moved on.
The ordinance sailed through its first reading about a month ago, but that’s almost understandable. Votes on first readings are moot. They don’t have to take place and essentially don’t matter because the vote on second reading is what counts.
But four magistrates voted against the measure on Monday night with not so much as a peep of information why.
Factor out your own view of what the vote should or shouldn’t have been. The people deserve an explanation.
Attendance at Monday’s meeting was a little higher than usual. In nearly three years, I’ve missed covering one Fiscal Court meeting, so I’m pretty familiar with the faces that show up on a regular basis.
Monday night, a few “unfamiliar” faces were swapped in, in the place of more familiar ones and, undoubtedly, they were interested in this vote.
Granted, the outcome is what goes down in the history books, but some discussion would have been nice — more than nice, even expected.
So, here’s a message to our current elected officials (not just the Fiscal Court because this example is just a microcosm of what happens at many local meetings) and those running for office next year: Whether you’re voting in favor or against something, you owe the people who put you in office a little explanation. Staying silent on an issue only breeds more questions and when the questions outnumber the answers, no one is satisfied.