Why is public comment needed?
The University of Minnesota Extension has an informative article on "Five reasons to involve others in public decisions". The article discusses the importance of public involvement in government body's decision making. Here is a quick look at their five reasons:
- It helps meet regulations and requirements
- It adheres to democratic principles
- It can create more substantive decisions and outcomes; more information, more perspectives, increased mutual understanding, and free consultations
- It can identify problems that can and should be solved
- It can enhance future problem-solving capacity.
A key concept from the article: "Engaging the public as decisions are made leads to informed decision-making and stronger solutions to problems. It also has multiple benefits and is worth the investment of government, community groups and organizations who work for the common good".
So the real question is, why wouldn't a governing body want feedback from the public?