Daviess Fiscal Court Judge-Executive Al Mattingly intends to bring the discussion surrounding a proposed Daviess County Nondiscrimination Ordinance to the citizens of Owensboro-Daviess County.

For the remainder of January and for the month of February, the court will not hear public comment regarding the ordinance during regular fiscal court meetings but will instead allow community members to address their concerns in upcoming forums, Mattingly said.

The first forum will be held at Owensboro Community & Technical College’s Blandford Hall on Jan. 30 at 6:30 p.m. with the second forum to be held on Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Brescia University’s Taylor Lecture Hall. Only members of Owensboro-Daviess County will be invited to speak, he said.

“This issue does not involve anyone from outside of Owensboro-Daviess County,” he said. “Only our community. We will ask people to sign up and I will moderate the forum. It will be organized in alternating fashion between those for and against the proposed ordinance.”

Given the potential of a large turnout, the amount of time allotted for those wishing to participate will be dictated by the number of community members who wish to speak, he said.

“If 100 people show up and they have three minutes each, that’s five hours,” he said. “It would behoove us if groups chose a designated speaker to address the forum on their behalf and ask those for or against to stand to show their support. I would ask those that speak at the first forum to not sign up to speak at the second to allow anyone who wishes to speak the chance to do so.”

Thursday’s regular fiscal court meeting, as well as meetings on Feb. 4 and Feb. 20, will not be open for public comment on the ordinance, he said.

“That because we want people to come to these forums,” he said. “Fiscal court is reserved for the county’s business and while we allow some comment, when we have large numbers we can’t handle it. For both forums, we will go as long as is necessary.”

March 3 is the targeted date for the court’s first reading of the proposed ordinance, with the second reading and final vote occurring on March 19. At both meetings, comments will be restricted to members of the court, he said.

“We strongly urge anyone that would like to say something to attend those public forums,” he said. “They will have ample time to say what they want to say.”

While Mattingly hopes that this schedule remains the same, it is only a tentative schedule. Community members are encouraged to reference the Daviess County website and Facebook page for any changes in schedule, he said.

Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, jmulliken@messenger-inquirer.com

Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, jmulliken@messenger-inquirer.com

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