Lost in legalese and rhetoric

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By Carolyn Risner

For years we have pointed fingers at the residents of cities and counties for not being more proactive in local government.

Apathy is often blamed as the reason people don't get involved in what's happening in their communities.

While that may be true in part, I think another reason may be it's just too darn confusing for the average person who has to sit and sift and then leave wondering, "What happened in there?"

It's been a while since I covered a Chiefland Commission meeting. About 18 months, in fact.

As I sat through three hours of agenda items Monday night, I couldn't help but shake my head.

Phrases like concurrency, proportionate share mitigation and EAR based amendments flew liberally from the mouths of officials and speakers.

And I was confused.

Me. College-educated. A veteran government reporter for almost 20 years.

So if I have a hard time following the jargon that clouds government meetings, can you imagine what it must be like for Average Joe Laborer who maybe graduated high school and barely has time for the evening news?

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