DeKalb Commission plans evening meetings

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to scheduled three meetings a year in the evening and outside of Decatur. From left: Commissioners Nancy Jester, Jeff Rader, Larry Johnson, Sharon Barnes Sutton, Mereda Johnson and Kathie Gannon. MARK NIESSE / MARK.NIESSE@AJC.COM
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The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to scheduled three meetings a year in the evening and outside of Decatur. From left: Commissioners Nancy Jester, Jeff Rader, Larry Johnson, Sharon Barnes Sutton, Mereda Johnson and Kathie Gannon. MARK NIESSE / MARK.NIESSE@AJC.COM

In an effort to make government more accessible, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners will soon hold a few meetings in the evening.

The later meetings will accommodate residents with day jobs who want to speak with their elected officials and see them at work.

The DeKalb Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to hold three meetings a year at 5:30 p.m. at various locations across the county. Residents will be able to make public comments at 6:30 p.m. Currently, commission meetings are held at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays in Decatur.

“As elected officials, we can never forget that we work for the citizens,” said Commissioner Kathie Gannon in a statement. “They have the right and the responsibility to tell us what they like, what our priorities should be and how they want us to solve problems.”

The commission initially had proposed holding one meeting each month in the evening but scaled back that proposal. The evening meetings will be held in February, June and October.

“It is the right step forward,” said Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson. “I’ve had constituents in my district say they would like to have an opportunity to come forward and make public comments.”