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Lafayette County Addresses Contentious Topics
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This letter was written on behalf of the Executive, Rules, & Legislative Committee and approved by that committee on Aug. 14. Topics discussed at that meeting will be in the next edition of the Republican Journal.


In recent weeks, a variety of contentious topics have been brought before committees of the Lafayette County Board. These topics have received a strong response from community members and county board members alike.

The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors strives to run meetings effectively, following proper procedures, open meetings laws, parliamentary law and with proper decorum at all times. We realize that some members of the public and some county board members are extremely passionate about certain topics; this can result in heated debates. The goal of the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors is to at all times remain respectful to other members, employees and members of the public during board and committee meetings. We strive to ensure all comments made are germane and are speaking to the merits of the issue. Any comments that were made previously that did not speak to the merits of the issue have been addressed and will not be condoned. It is the responsibility of the committee chair to ensure that such incidences do not happen and to put a stop to it if it should happen in the future. 

The parties involved in the recent debates have all been addressed regarding proper procedures and decorum to follow during board and committee meetings and suggestions have been made on how we can improve in the future.

Another related topic includes the use of social media and print media to condemn actions of the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors by other county board members. Advocacy states that county board supervisors shall represent the official policies or positions of the Board of Supervisors, boards, commissions and/or committees to the best of their ability when designated as delegates for this purpose. When presenting their individual opinions and positions or otherwise speaking without the express direction or authorization of their body, county board supervisors shall explicitly state they do not represent their body or Lafayette County, nor will they allow the inference that they do.

Any statements made previously that have not clarified on whether the opinion was that of the county board vs a personal opinion have been addressed and all future statements will be monitored to ensure that clarification is achieved.

Furthermore, county board members should be using the proper channels to file a complaint with the Executive Committee against other members of the county board if they believe they have been subject to improper behavior or if an issue has arisen that requires resolution. Social media and letters to the editor should never be used as a medium for conducting government business. Lafayette County Board Members are personally responsible for their commentary on all social media sites; commentary that is considered defamatory, obscene, proprietary or libelous by any party will not be tolerated by the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors.

We appreciate the continued interest in county board proceedings by members of the public. We invite members of the public to join us at any and every committee and county board meeting to discuss their views on a topic during the public comment portion of the agenda. The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors will continue to strive to represent our constituents in the best way possible and conduct county business in a respectful and meaningful manner in the future.

Tony Ruesga

Executive Committee Chair