Local bodies of government, impartial judgement

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tonight, the Poplarville Board of Aldermen will hold a public hearing that has been more than 10 years in the making.

Two sides of a longstanding controversy will have the opportunity to make their case to the Board before officials make their final decision on the matter.

To date, discussions whether a homeschool should be allowed to continue operations out of a private home in a residential area have led to passionate arguments on both sides.

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Infringement on the rights to peace and privacy have been the center of this dispute.

While the position of the Board and the mayor of Poplarville has backed the schoolteacher, it is important for the governing body to remember their duty is to abide by the laws and ordinances that have been established by the city, without taking into account their personal opinions of a citizen.

Much like the standard of this paper to remain an objective observer and watchdog for the community, government officials have a responsibility to abide by the rules they took an oath to uphold, even if those rules stipulate the unfavored party is correct.

The public should never be intimidated when appearing before a local body of government. 

Any grievances people have, based on legal statues or private resident disputes, should feel free to voice their concerns to these elected officials without fear of repercussion or verbal backlash.

While tonight’s public hearing is of vital importance for all parties involved, we hope the matter will be resolved in a civil and organized manner.

Though one party may leave feeling defeated, it’s vital to the health of Poplarville’s community that the final decision will be made in strict accordance with the law to prevent the need for backtracking or further problems.