Hope all yawl are having a happy Fourth!
And enjoy these two small, but important, news items:
1. Chief Noonan has scheduled the APD Patrol Boat to be out working the estuary Sunday and Monday, July 3rd and 4th. Give them a wave hello if you’re out there too. And you best not be working it as Captain Anejo*. On sea or on land for that matter.
2. City Manager Russo makes a move to improve the discussions at city hall on both sides: on the dais and from ROCs**. Starting in September, all documents for City Council Meetings must be published twelve (yes, that’s 12) days prior to each city council meeting. That translates into ….. 8 week and 4 weekend days prior to the Tuesday city council meetings.
Unlike recently when the firefighters contract was withheld until the last minute—
Few had time to read the meeting documents prior to the meeting to approve the firefighters contract…and worse: it was discussed in closed session, then scheduled for approval on the consent calendar which means the mayor intended no public discussion [talk about skulking…] unless we asked for it; we did—unlike that,
Starting this fall, we will be seeing the city council meeting documents well ahead of time.
Everyone—you, me, the mayor, city council members—will have plenty of time to review, research, and prepare for an intelligent discussion at city hall. Will this change anything at City Hall? Maybe. Maybe not. But if we-the-people can be better informed in a timely manner, then we’ll be more engaged in a meaningful way. And that is one-half of the equation (more actually) towards a better run city and better designed future.
We must continue to raise the discussion-quality bar at city hall.
The bar’s been so low, well, actually, meaningful public discussions at city hall have been non-existent since December 28, 2010. So the bar is actually on the floor. Intractable, Mayor Gilmore has stubbornly refused to have the conversations we think are important; refusing to address citizens’ palpable concerns, refusing to discuss the facts, condescending us, and she’s repeatedly manipulated the meetings to avoid these important discussions that are rightfully ours. It’s a form of disenfranchisement. But this new city rule will help us change things.
But soon, there’ll be every opportunity to—ahead of time— think about the issues and write letters and emails to those in charge, to reach out to those from whom you might learn, or hunker down and research the issue.
And to bring your A-Game to city council meetings. Our improved participation at city council meetings may, or may not, help drive an A-Game on the dais too… Regardless, we will be better positioned now to demand better, and even best, of ourselves and of those elected to represent us.
Now go have fun this holiday weekend!
**ROCs: regularly ol’ citizens