So I saw the following post on social media and it got me to thinking a thought I have had many times…why are we killing so many trees just in order to participate in providing testimony at public meetings in Howard County:

Let me state the following…this is in no way a dig on Councilmember Yungmann…he is just sharing the current procedure….but the question must be asked…is this right in the era of technology we live in today?

Why are we asking members of the community to provide 20 copies of their written testimony in order to participate in the process?  How many people do not participate because maybe they do not have a printer at home in order to produce that kind of paperwork in advance of a public meeting?

I know the next sentence says “Testimony can also be submitted to charterreviewcommission@howardcountymd.gov”…but that is after asking for a significant number of paper copies.

How many trees are we willing to kill with this procedure? Are we not trying to be more eco-friendly in our county right now? Is this not the time for the HoCoGov and HCPSS IT teams to find a better procedure for the public so that everyone feels like they can participate?

Just things on my mind this morning. I have seen this published / promoted enough times over the years (not just from the County Council…but also from the Board of Education) that I think it may be a hinderance to those that may want to participate in the process.

I hope the Council and BOE take a hard look at their procedures and look to be more environmentally friendly and more inclusive to those that may not have the ability to produce significant amounts of paperwork in advance of providing testimony.

I am not at all the “Super Eco Person” in this county…but even someone like me can see the pitfalls in the current procedure…both on an Eco level and on a limiting participation level.

I hope we can find a way to look forward and do better.

Scott E