published: Sunday, March 03, 2013
AP council asks for meeting packets earlier
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
AVON PARK -- Garrett Anderson, serving his first term as a city councilor, proposed his first ordinance at the last regular meeting.
Anderson wanted the city council agenda to "be set and published no less than seven days prior to the advertised date of the meeting."
If an issue is deemed urgent, an item could be placed on the agenda no less than 48 hours prior to the advertised meeting.
At the same time, Anderson wanted councilors to have adequate time preparing for discussions and decisions. So his ordinance allowed individual councilors to table an agenda item from one meeting to the next.
Anderson said, "The reason is to slow (the process) down a bit. Things come through pretty fast. I've felt at times it would be good to have at least a few more days (to study an issue)."
The idea met resistance.
"Sometimes I think government moves too slow," Councilor Terry Heston said.
"It will give you time to talk to John Henry in the street," Anderson replied.
"That's what I do generally," Heston said. "I have five people I go to."
"You could talk to 20 people," Anderson said. "The point is expanding the base of people getting involved."
"I believe the premise is good," Councilor Parke Sutherland said, adding however, he did have serious concerns about a single council member being able to delay an item from one agenda to another. "It gives one person majority rule."
"I'm really and truly not in favor of another ordinance," Mayor Sharon Schuler said.
The council reached an agreement. Council packets will be ready no later than the Wednesday before the Monday meeting, so council members will have adequate time to review all the issues.
"I'll be happy with that," Anderson said.
City Manager Julian Deleon told the council new technology will also help with the work load. The city is acquiring electronic tablets for quicker communication between staff and elected officials.
Agendas (by: Frank - 3/6/2013)
In this same meeting, the City had discussed the idea of having an internet forum created so they could hear 'the will of the people' and gain feedback. Yeah, all these things are swell, but the city has yet to prove that anything is available for public record. They need someone to work on their website, making it easier for the public to access meeting agendas, meeting minutes, meeting schedules and most importantly, policies. Having tablets to communicate between government officials is nice, but how about somoe communication with the public? Yeah, that would be nice...
Practice what you preach (by: just sayin' - 3/5/2013)
This is a guy that doesn't follow county building permit laws for his own business yet complains about process. People only get involved if they know the one asking for the involvement is trustworthy in his own right. You gotta prove yourself honest before any citizen will confide in you Mr Anderson.
Electronic Polling (by: JoeCitizen - 3/5/2013)
Using new technology will speed up communicating issues to the citizens. With comments and concerns posted within a stream and read by council members would work well. Why not hear from 50 or 100 people on a city issue?
Packets (by: Al - 3/3/2013)
The young man is so right. More young ideals are needed. Thanks
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