In Latin or otherwise, board monitoring appropriate, not 'creepy'


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Your editorial on the New Leadership Coalition monitoring the Village Board of Trustees meetings is interesting ("Trustees were elected. No 'monitoring' needed," June 8). You say the monitoring is "creepy." Are you aware that the Village Manager Association (VMA) stalwarts are currently at every meeting monitoring events? Of course, their newfound interest is in the best interests of the people and democratic government, right? I mean all the notes they are taking are meant to educate and inform, right?

Every organization has the right to define its role as the members see fit. The NLC has a point of view and the New Leadership Party (NLP) platform resonated with a lot of voters. The platform we all ran on was our pledge to those who supported us. The fact that three NLP trustees were elected is no accident.

In addition, the word monitor comes from the Latin monere?#34;to warn. One that monitors warns. It is appropriate to have a warning system in place to alert trustees to issues, potential resources and any other means that may help us in developing good public policy.

Moreover, the word observe comes from the Latin observare?#34;to guard, or watch. It also means, to conform one's action or practice to (as a law, rite, or condition), to comply with, to inspect or take note of as an augury, omen, or to watch carefully especially with attention to details or behavior for the purpose of arriving at a judgment.

The League of Women Voters has an observer at meetings of the board. Is the work of the League creepy, too? The obvious answer is no. The LWV serves a clear purpose. The NLC is both monitor and observer. There is nothing wrong with that. If the other organizations, or individuals, have ideas to suggest, I will listen to them as much as any member of any other group, including the members of the NLC. Do I have a point of view that is based on a very clear platform? Yes. Do I welcome the suggestions, ideas and opinions of the N LC? Yes. The VMA?yes.

I believe that observing is also a good thing. The media observes and monitors. Citizens observe and monitor the board's actions. To watch and to guard is an appropriate role for citizens in every organization.

Please note that citizens can only monitor and observe what they can see and hear. In the past administrations, the goal seemed to be to keep citizens from seeing and hearing when it served their agenda. Please note, as a point of fact and not opinion, the VMA was the majority at the board table at that time.

Robert Milstein
Village Trustee

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