I attended the Aug. 27 Houston County Commissioners meeting to support Money Creek Township board chairman Dale Omodt and his cousin, Lucille Omodt-Crow.
During the comment period, Omodt-Crow presented commissioners with factual information of another Houston County Planning and Zoning Commission violation of its, or the county’s, ordinances.
At their July 23 meeting, commissioners agreed to hold a public hearing on term limits for planning and zoning commission members. Commissioners are considering a limit of two three-year terms. With the usual staggered terms, this would mean residents would benefit from the experience of members already on the commission, as well as hearing fresh perspectives.
Commissioner Steve Schuldt said in that meeting: “I see nothing wrong with term limits at all, but I’d like to do some calling or asking.” Commissioner Judy Storlie stated, “I think we need to make sure we don’t alienate everybody. I think discussion is very important.” In an effort to include all opinions, the board scheduled a hearing.
Thus, imagine my surprise when these two commissioners now questioned the idea of term limits and a public hearing. They said they didn’t think planning and zoning had done anything wrong, in spite of commissioners’ meetings, videos, newspaper reports and first-hand accounts all showing or admitting irregularities. Storlie asserted her power over well-intentioned, wise, smart and completely competent Commissioner Teresa Walter. Why the sudden about-face?
In an unexpected twist, after the meeting when the Omodts and others were in discussion with commissioners, three police officers appeared in the doorway. Yet there was no argument, no heated discussion, no threat, no assistance needed.
What have we come to if elected officials feel they need to protect themselves from listening to or engaging with citizens who elected them?
Plan to attend the public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30.