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OPINION PAGE


 DON’T EXCLUDE THE PUBLIC FROM PUBLIC MEETINGS


A well-known chairman of a city committee once said: “The problem with public meetings is the Public shows up” — and he wasn’t kidding: its a lot easier not to have pesky citizens looking over your shoulder.

That seems to be the sentiment at city hall lately under the guise of “information gathering” — but that’s a red herring, because gathering actionable information is a primary reason for holding regularly scheduled and properly advertised meetings.

Citizens deserve to have full access, so they may monitor performance of their representatives and ensure compliance with laws and regulations; city employees prefer to do things by the book too, because their jobs may be at stake.

Televising and live-streaming meetings online only to continue them after the cameras go off (or before they go on) isn't being transparent, its deliberate deception.

Nothing short of full transparency will do; sunshine is still the best disinfectant.


PUBLISHER




































9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Certain politicians do have a reputation for sneakiness around here.

Anonymous said...

Talk about revisionist history...you seem to forget that the mayor started us down this road in one of her first council meetings. Remember how she threatened to fire supervisors if the council did not approve her hiring of ______? (Name excluded so not to violate terms) For a job that wasn’t advertised or even exist!! Remember how she hired _____ (same reason) who happened to be a former campaign staff member and opponent to the apartments for a job that didn’t exist as well? Someone got assaulted for that. Yes I know, allegedly. And after all that she two people were fired anyway and numerous people have resigned/retired. And I’m sure you’re perfectly ok with all this since your side won

Anonymous said...

Sneaky Jack u mean? ;)

Anonymous said...

This was in response to a comment that has since been deleted I guess

Publisher said...

We deleted some comments that were left over from our last Opinion piece from about three months ago.

Anonymous said...

A review of the city website for city committees discloses large gaps in regular meetings and significantly, the posting of meeting minutes. Also, not all public meetings are streamed. A policy of streaming ALL public meetings should be enforced. So the city could take two immediate steps; stream all meetings and direct all city committees to meet regularly and bring the approved meeting minutes up to date and posted on the city website.

Publisher said...

Streaming public meetings is of no use if it drives discussions completely out of sight, before or after the cameras are on.

Anonymous said...

the smart thing to do would be to offer to hire those two supervisors back in some capacity. one of them is alrady campaigning to replace her. Smart things usually don't get done here though :)

Anonymous said...

The confidence in the city leadership (Mayor and Council) is at a historic low, and that's hard to imagine.