Posted: Fri, May 18 2012 at 5:46 PM, Updated: Fri, May 18 2012 at 6:44 PM
The claws are coming out in Josephine county.Trying to fill a massive budget gap to fund public safety, commissioners announced they will cut televised public meetings. All this, the day after Tuesday's Primary Elections, where voters turned down a property tax levy to fund public safety. Now some are speculating on their decision.
there are thirteen public meetings before the end of this year some of them wont be aired on t.v in rural Josephine County after officials decided to cancel a contract with rogue valley television. The public access channel where meetings are broadcast. At the last Wednesday public meeting, Selma resident and unsuccessful commissioner Mark Seligman accused Josephine County
commissioners of taking away the publics right to freedom of speech.
the county says they cant afford to pay for a luxury that is not required by state law but rather part of a program. The county collects franchise fees from charter that are used for public education and government programs like commissioner meetings.
after residents voted down a property tax levy to fund public safety officials are looking for a way to put money back into the sheriff's department. Cutting the cable money they say is one way. As a result, some speculate more is going on. Dale Matthews who goes to those meetings on a regular basis offered to help for free but was turned down. County Commissioner, Simon Hare says he might shoot the meetings himself. During a time of financial crisis, a failing justice system and public safety at risk. They say they have to trim where they can.These broadcasts wont stop entirely. Audio recordings and agenda minutes will be availible online at the county's website. It's unclear when or if meetings will make their way back to viwers in Josephine County.