City Council voted in June to restrict public comments in the early part of meetings to agenda items only. Now, residents can’t obtain the agenda on the official City website, and no one seems to have noticed or done anything to fix it.
For the last three consecutive City Council meetings (August 3rd, August 31st special session, and the upcoming September 7th), the City’s official website link to the meeting agenda has been dead. Residents have been unable to find the City Council agenda anywhere on the City’s official website during that time.
Back on August 3rd, when I noticed that the evening’s agenda was not available on the website, I was in contact with a City employee via social media, who was extremely helpful and apologetic. The agenda was then posted on at least two other online locations an hour or two prior to the August 3rd meeting as a temporary solution, but it was still not posted on the City website.
Then, the August 31st meeting came and went, and the link to the meeting’s agenda on the City website did not work.
As of this writing (September 5th , 1:52pm EST), the link to the September 7th agenda does not work.
This issue isn’t being pointed out in order to blame the specific City employees who are responsible for properly posting the agenda.
Rather, the responsibility for this failure falls directly on the shoulders of our elected officials: the Mayor and City Council.
Failing to properly post one agenda is a perfectly reasonable human oversight. Failing to post two agendas can be chalked up to carelessness. Failing to post three consecutive agendas reflects a troubling disregard for the responsibility of keeping the public fully informed and engaged.
Posting the agenda online is a relatively simple task in terms of technology. Fixing this should take literally a few minutes.
City Council’s unjustified and undemocratic decision to restrict public comment participation by requiring agenda-only comments early in Council meetings has been followed by a failure to make that agenda readily and publicly available on the City website prior to the last three Council meetings.
It’s not easy to trust that the majority of Council and City government wants an engaged and informed public when their actions reflect the opposite.