As you may have read in today’s Roanoke Times, Blacksburg Town Council voted to delay action on Ordinance 1546 to give us more time to study certain provisions.

The point I would like to make here is that public hearings work and are important in the decision making process of an elected boday.

When we began discussing this provision dealing with demolitions in the town’s historic district, we realized that we had not heard from as many people as we would have expected. So many times with an ordinance like this people talk and momentum gathers for an opinion one way or another. Since town council did not sense that momentum, we opened our public hearing in November, but elected not to take action until December. We felt sure that after our public hearing, more would know about this new provision to the ordinance.

And, eventually, people did respond. In those responses some questions were raised which caused town council to rethink our action and to gather more information to answer those questions before proceeding.

This is why we have public hearings – to gather information before making a decision. This is what town council did. We listened, thought about the questions and concerns, and realized we wanted to know more before proceeding.

This I the way public hearings are suppose to work.