NCDOT makes I-77 Advisory Group meeting time most inconvenient for public to attend

- People are outraged after being kept out of a meeting about the toll lanes on Interstate 77.

There was a lot more elbow room at Thursday's I-77 Advisory Group meeting, a meeting that was rescheduled last minute from 6 p.m. - when more members of the public could attend -  to 1 p.m.

"I own my own business and I can break away to attend these meetings pretty much anytime during the day. I can adjust my schedule. There are many people living in this region who do not have the luxury of doing that," said William Raktanski, one of only two members of the public who made it.

Several people posted their frustration online about not being able to attend. Even members of the I-77 Advisory Group and the Transportation Secretary himself couldn't be there.

Raktanski says that’s unacceptable.

"Meetings like this should be scheduled such that all important government officials who are invited are free and open to attend these meetings."

We asked the top NCDOT official presiding  over the meeting: Why was the change made and how do you think it impacts the public's ability to listen in?

The Western Deputy Chief Engineer for NCDOT, Louis Mitchell said, "these group members are certainly important to their constituents and many are pulling double duty with their careers and municipal commitments. Coordinating those schedules can be problematic. We did have some absences today. If we had maintained the 6 p.m. timeframe, we would have probably had more absences." 

The time change wasn't the only glitch. People watching the meeting online were also left out when the livestream wouldn't work.

"Unfortunately livestream didn't work as well today, but we'll have the video online later today. Folks can watch it. All of the materials are already posted online.”

Here’s the link where the NCDOT says they’ll be uploading the video: https://livestream.com/NC-DOT
 

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