City commission meetings going on the road

Register
Apr 29, 2014

 

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.

Comments

The Bizness

You are ridiculous!

JT Adams St

There's nothing ridiculous about the commissioners asking residents for input on the improvements that they'd like to see in their neighborhoods. The current mayor's agenda is to move city hall. I doubt if there are 3 residents of Sandusky who believe that moving city hall is going to improve their quality of life.

The Bizness

This blog post is ridiculous though.

Nemesis

Why, for pointing out that the city really can't afford the expenses incurred by these dog-and-pony shows? These travelling commission meetings are just twinkle and flash to distract people from real issues, but then you've shown yourself to be attracted to that sort of thing.

DGMutley

She brings up legitimate issues; to the extent that someone disagrees and says they're ridiculous is the redeeming value of the blog because it sparks a dialogue. If everyone would agree then there is no dialogue.

So why is the blog post ridiculous?
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I think townhall meetings in various neighborhoods would be good. I think it would be hard to have commission meetings in that type of venue.

As far as putting the commission meetings on the road, try it; it won't take long to find out whether it works or not.

The Bizness

You answered why I think this post id ridiculous. Setting up the equipment will probably take just as long as it normally does.

DGMutley

I don't object to taking the meetings on the road. In fact, I like the idea because it's innovative. Need more.

Nemesis

It's novel, and exciting. One of society's problems is that too few people realize that's not the same as innovative.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

It's innovative if it is done in an educational manner. Yes if it is done just to be different it's a waste. But if the locations are mentioned and discussed a bit at or before the meeting and it is used to showcase the city I would support it.

Nemesis

Why? Why is that germane to the purpose of the meetings? It just makes them longer, which discourages busy people attending and staying on top of what their government is doing. If you want to have an historical and architectural show and tell, there are organizations better qualified to organize it.

This is nothing but political grandstanding - it's a stunt-meeting.

Julie R.

"The city commission meetings should be conducted in a professional setting."

Excellent point, Sharon. In fact, all your points in this one are excellent.

reader

With all the real work our city crews have to deal with...patching streets, cutting dead trees, etc.....using manpower to move the seating, tables, recording equipment, seems unwise.

Why not meet and greet sessions at the various locations where citizens can exchange ideas with the commission and charter officers? Very casual get to know your leaders....

T. A. Schwanger

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A once a month "Town Hall Meeting" in various areas of the town would have been sufficient and probably better attended.

It's been 120 days since the new commission took office and Sandusky is still not clear on what this commission stands for in the name of government basics. No known detailed plan for addressing city streets. No known detailed plan for addressing 300 plus trees needing removal. No known detailed plan to address sidewalk issues.