I wonder if the commissioners really gave it any thought as to how much staff time is involved trying to arrange for some of the city commission meetings to be held off site.
The following points are to be considered when relocating the commission meetings to another venue:
• Facilities need to accommodate up to fifty people attending the meetings, which means enough tables and chairs to accommodate everyone attending. The off sites will need to meet the fire code for the number of people in a small area.
• Transportation of the camera equipment and the clerk’s equipment including labor time for setup. I doubt the cameras will be rolling on the meetings that the city takes on the road because it will not be productive for staff. Manpower is needed to set up and take down equipment twice over to return the equipment back to City Hall.
• ADA accommodations will be needed.
• Gas and mileage for staff attending off site meetings.
• Executive session last anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours requiring an employee to hang around until the executive session is over so the employee can lock up the facility.
The city commission meetings should be conducted in a professional setting. There are other ways of touring the different city facilities without inconveniencing everyone. The commission can hold separate open houses to show off the facilities, or tour the facilities an hour before the commission meeting. It is great having new ideas and suggestions but placing additional demands and stress on staff defeats the purpose.
The city meets with the business people all the time for their needs, but does the city even bother to take time to meet with the general public for the residents’ needs? I would like the trend of show and tell to be reversed. Instead of the city doing the show and tells trying to sell us on a tax increase, how about the residents doing a little show and tell of their own by inviting the commissioners to take a walk through their neighborhoods to show what is needed in their area of town?
The city should enter into ongoing negotiations with its citizens concerning the tax increase where everyone is able to obtain their fair share of the money distribution and not just a few. The contract should be in writing with specifics, so the city can’t make promises just to get a tax increase passed and then renege on the promise after the vote has been taken.
Until such time the commissioners recognize that the general public should be included in the round table talks of where the money distribution will be going, no amount of their show and tells will register with the common voter.