Palm Beach Post: Why don’t Martin County officials listen to residents?

From Sally Swartz, award-winning Palm Beach Post blogger: Another room full of angry Martin County residents yell at Martin County officials. They don’t ask the question directly. But their complaints say it for them: Why do county officials so seldom side with residents?

… In the 2012 election, residents chose commissioners they hoped would do better, and so they have. With a dozen years of bad decisions to fix, they are making slow but steady progress. But when residents butt heads with county employees, county officials circle the wagons to fight residents.

A previous commission majority that favored few restrictions on growth hired some of those employees, and they are stuck in the mindset of their old bosses. That mindset often dictates smoothing the way for individual developers or landowners rather than the considering the majority of residents.

So no matter who’s on the commission, residents still have to fend for themselves when county staff members make bad decisions. That’s just how it is in Martin County. It’s wrong.

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