SPET meeting

Jackson Town Councilman Jonathan Schechter listens to public comment during a joint meeting with Teton County commissioners, June 11, 2019.

We published a mistake in Monday’s Jackson Hole Daily, our sister publication.

We reported the public would be able to comment at a town and county meeting discussing how to handle the specific purpose excise tax ballot. No public comment was taken.

Typically, meeting agendas state “no public comment will be taken.” This phrase was not on the agenda for this meeting so we interpreted that as public comment would be taken. We regret the error, and editors corrected it.

But this confusion got the editorial board thinking: Maybe the bigger mistake is not inviting further public comment.

Electeds took comment once when mulling which projects to ask voters to fund with an optional 1 penny sales tax but haven’t invited comment at a meeting since contemplating a radical ballot overhaul.

During meetings Monday and Tuesday, electeds couldn’t agree on whether to bundle SPET items or allow voters to pick and choose. If something is this divisive among local leaders, surely it’s worthy of public comment.

Electeds should reopen the floor to public comment — now that this new issue is dominating the discussion. Perhaps, they could bundle comments by directing the public to stick to the new topic.

This editorial represents the opinion of the News&Guide’s editorial board: Johanna Love, Rebecca Huntington, Kevin Olson and Adam Meyer.

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