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Dear Mayor and Aldermen,

The League of Women Voters of Hendersonville congratulates you on your election to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. To those who will continue their terms, we also congratulate you. To all, we applaud your willingness to serve the citizens of our city and to work for the city you described when you campaigned: that city that is welcoming, offering housing and employment, commercial development, parks and libraries, sports for all ages, and the beauty of the City by the Lake.

The League is a bit older than this city. For over 50 years, our members have worked to encourage informed and active participation in government, to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and to influence public policy through education and advocacy.

To accomplish your goals and our mission, Hendersonville needs an open government that works with great transparency, adherence to Robert’s Rules of Order, and open communication between the aldermen and mayor and the citizens of this community.  The contents of BOMA’s public meeting notices must reasonably describe each meeting’s purpose and the items to be voted upon.

Toward that end, we anticipate that the BOMA will post and otherwise make available each meeting notice, inclusive of the agenda, the agenda packet, and any amended agenda, sufficiently in advance of the actual meeting, thereby affording the League and interested citizens the opportunity to become aware of and attend the meeting.

Finally, the League was inspired and encouraged by the efforts of student Hannah Kate McFadden, who developed the Candidate Pledge. Most, if not all, of the candidates in the last city election signed the pledge. While the Candidate Pledge addresses specific principles and behaviors for the campaign, those same guiding principles can be applied to the position in which you now serve:  be respectful of others, no name calling or personal comments, stick to the issues, respect the opinions of others, agree to disagree, and remember whom you are serving.

Yes, remember whom you are serving. Again, we ask that you 1) keep the public informed through the timely notification of meetings and agenda items for both BOMA and standing committees, 2) be transparent in the legislative process, and 3) observe the “Sunshine Law.” We hope there will be a Board orientation that will include information on Open Records, Open Meetings and Parliamentary Procedure. The League of Women Voters would be happy to assist in meeting those goals.

Respectfully,

The League of Women Voters of Hendersonville

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