To the editor:

Last week I attended the final meeting of the Advanced Collaboration Team (ACT) where councilpersons Debbie Kroger of Hanover, Pete Backus of Madison, and Larry Wynn of Jefferson County presented the draft copy of the inter-local agreement (ILA) which they and the public had been working on for almost six months.

As I sat there, my mind wandered back to my early education where the teachers described how American democracy works. Since those early years, there have been times that I came to question whether it still worked that way, but my faith was restored.

After the document was presented, the session was open to the public for comment, and boy did the public respond. No one was ridiculed or told their ideas or comments didn't matter. What came out of the session was a much better ILA, one that will be submitted to the three legislative bodies of Jefferson county once the attorney makes the agreed-to changes.

Another moment stood out from the meeting, and that was what good public service should be about, but all too often is not. After several questions were put to the elected officials about who was paying for the legal work, and after the question was answered at least three times, the question was again asked. At that point, Councilman Wynn stated that if the ILA were not adopted by the three councils, he personally would pay for any attorney fees and not one cent of taxpayer money would be used. He also pointed out that as a councilman, he tried not to accept a salary but was advised he had to. He said 100 percent of his county salary was donated to charitable causes. He went on to say he was serving as a councilman and working on the ILA so those in Jefferson County at the bottom of the economic scale might have the same opportunity to achieve that he was afforded.

Thank you Ms. Kroger and Mr. Wynn and Mr. Backus for a job well done and for all the hours you put into this ILA, one that when adopted and properly used will start moving Jefferson County forward.

Robin Henderson