Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 24, 2009 No Public Forum at Today's "Special Called" Meeting of City Council

As mentioned in an earlier post, the City Council is having a special called meeting at 11:30 AM.

The announcement of the meeting in Sunday's paper said that there were only two items on today's agenda:

1) Hiring a City Administrator;and
2) A Bond Anticipation Note in the amount of $950,000 for the purchase of the property on North Liberty Hill Road for the new Public Works Complex.

If you check the city's website, the agenda (click here) shows a third agenda item (Installation of fire hydrants in Witt area) that was not mentioned in the newspaper.

Significantly, today's agenda does not list a public forum where the public is given the opportunity to speak to council. The agendas for Council's regular meetings provide the public with an opportunity to speak near the beginning of the meeting. Today's special called meeting, however, does not include a public forum.

It looks like the council and interim administrator not only called this special meeting for 11:30 AM to keep the working taxpayer from being able to attend but also to keep anyone who might be able to attend (retired or off work today) from speaking about items on the agenda.

The process of naming an administrator has had its own problems--see the post here on the last-minute addition of two "acquaintances" of MTAS' Pat Hardy and Interim Administrator Wampler as automatic finalists.

Now the special called meeting is set for 11:30 AM to make sure that the public can't attend and, if the public should somehow be able to attend, the special called meeting prevents them from speaking 

Not exactly a showcase for openness and transparency.

[At its regular meetings, the Mayor and Council at least go through the motions of allowing the public to speak and act like they are listening.  At today's meeting, they don't want to hear the public!]

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