I want to clarify my position regarding the use of the Augusta City Council chamber by the Board of Education.

I now fully support members of the school board having access to and use of the council chamber and sitting at the council bench to conduct their business.

I have done some serious research and reflection about this issue over the last two weeks, and I have changed my mind about the chamber’s use and function.

It is my position that the council be used to enhance a better and more effective communications process between the city’s policy- and decision-makers and the people.

I serve on the Augusta Cable and Telecommunications Committee. I think it is unfortunate that this committee did not get the opportunity to fully vet this issue before it went to the City Council’s informational meeting and a somewhat contentious atmosphere arose. This atmosphere is not productive.

The Cable and Telecommunications Committee met on March 20 to deliberate this issue, and I initiated the motion to recommend to the City Council that the school board have the use of the council chamber as needed.

Our members voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

In addition, Councilor Cecil Munson is working on a council order to expand the use of the council chamber beyond the school board and will include the planning board and the greater Augusta Utility Board. This will further empower the communications process for the citizens and their leaders, and it will create a better understanding of the decision-making process.

Transparency in government is always best. I will support this order.

Mary D. Mayo-Wescott

Augusta


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