Residents of the Village of South Jacksonville who wish to have more of a voice in village government will have that opportunity soon. South Jacksonville Village President, Tyson Manker is creating a Citizens’ Committee as one of his first acts of office.
Manker says a lot of village residents have voiced interest in getting involved in various ways. He says there are a lot of great ideas out there, so he wanted to create the Citizens’ Committee to help bring up ideas and even issues that he and the Board of Trustees may have missed. He says he believes it will also help with accountability.
“I think it will also play a dual purpose in that it’s also an oversight board. If we aren’t doing something right, the people of the village need to have more than just comments from the floor, but an opportunity to address that.
I want real accountability and real transparency and so, bringing back the citizens’ committee, and the people that I appoint to it will be, kind of the spokespeople for the rest of the residents to make sure that we are doing the job they sent us here to do.”
The Citizens’ Committee would be held to follow the open meetings act, however, Manker says the recommendations from the committee would be non-binding. He says the idea is to give residents an extra voice to make sure they are being heard. Manker says in his view, there is no limit to the subject matter that can be addressed by the committee in his view.
“If people of South Jacksonville have something they want to talk about, they can of course bring it up to me, they can bring it up to members of the board, but they can also bring it up to the members of this citizens’ committee so they can have their own discussions and come up with kind of recommendations or put together different packages of information for the board and myself to consider.
So it’s very much a work in progress, I haven’t even made the official appointments yet. But I’m glad we are talking about it because ultimately the purpose is to restore the power of government back to the people, and one of the ways we are going to do that, and increase transparency, and increase accountability, is to create an actual citizens’ committee where they have a voice. And granted they are not elected, so we don’t have to follow the recommendations, but I do think it’s important to give them a voice and that we listen.”
Manker says the committee will be allowed to choose when they meet, and he already has received interest from more individuals than could be appointed to the committee. Still, he says any residents who have an interest in or questions about the Citizens’ Committee can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org