Re: "CSD meetings need to be shortened," Letters, April 21-28:
Democracy is never served by reducing the ability of citizens to participate. The author of the recent letter suggested limiting the number of Los Osos CSD meetings, and by implication, their public comment periods. She also complained about the participation of newly elected members. The writer suggested that we should trust her claim that nothing would change if there were two meetings a month. Unfortunately, she doesn't offer any reasons for trust her judgment.
The law of supply and demand suggests that if there was a greater supply of opportunity for people to participate, whether in public comment or otherwise, the overall demand would decline. Democracy was never meant to be "tidy." The quick, clean, simple alternative is simply un-American. It is also against the state law that regulates the function of CSDs, requiring them to encourage citizen participation and involvement.
On a related note, comments by Board President Gustafson and others have credited the greater civility at the meetings to the "monitor" appointed by General Manager Buel. An alternate explanation is that since the election, more constituents feel represented.