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SPARTA ALDERMAN ATTEMPTS TO ALLOW “PUBLIC COMMENTS” AT MONTHLY MEETINGS

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A Sparta city alderman says he believes that the public should be able to address comments and concerns directly to the council during monthly meetings. Alderman Jerry Lowery recently commented in a meeting that it’s the chief complaint he hears and so made a motion to allow residents to address the council in such a meeting if needed. City Mayor Jeff Young commented that his main concern was that such a request would turn meetings into a “circus atmosphere.” He cited the White County Commission meetings as an example. Young said that the move could create “potential chaos” and that he and any member of the council are available to the public 24-hours a day if comments or concerns need to be addressed. The mayor also said that it was up to him to call such a public meeting to order, if needed. Nearly all neighboring governments such as Crossville and Cookeville, and like the White County Commission, have a designated spot on the agenda for public comments. No other official commented about the subject and Lowery’s motion failed due to the lack of a second.


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