We Take Exception – Business owner should have been allowed to speak at Town Council meeting

Saturday, May 8, 2010
By Transcript Staff

Cindy Levins, co-owner of the Moonstruck Cafe and Luna Boutique, was among those who opposed the Town Council’s vote to implement a brown bagging policy and set a fee of $400 from local restaurants for the license. Ms. Levins has written an opinion piece in this week’s Sun Transcript on the issue and made her feelings known in an interview for last week’s news story on the Council’s vote.

However, apart from the vote itself, Ms. Levins also expressed her displeasure that a letter that she had written to the Council wasn’t read aloud (as two other communications were) and that she wasn’t given the opportunity to speak at the Council meeting during the discussion.

The Council does have a policy where the public can speak before and after the Council meeting. Certainly, we understand that meetings would take too long if any person were allowed to speak at any time. Moreover, it would be too disruptive of Council meetings if the public were allowed to speak without a proper protocol.

But exceptions routinely are made and we know that some individuals on prior occasions have been given the opportunity to speak during a meeting. In our view, this should have been one of those occasions. Ms. Levins, who sat through the entire three and one half hour meeting, should have been given a chance to speak during the Council’s discussion.

Ms. Levins is a businessperson in our community with a legitimate interest in what was being discussed. She should have been afforded the opportunity to add to that discussion.

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