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 Is a public meeting public if people don't know about it?

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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: Is a public meeting public if people don't know about it?   Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:04 pm

At the last Ortonville City Council meeting on April 5, 2010 it was reported by this news site and the local paper of a group of people who came to the meeting in support of the Trailhead project. After some consideration a question arose as to how much of the public knew about that meeting. For sure Vicki Oakes of the EDA was aware of it and she along with her supporters in the Chamber and the Heritage Committee arrived prepared to state their support of the city funding the project. Why were there no people there who supported the project through private funding, not city funds?

While the city may post the agenda in the city office on the Friday afternoon before the meeting, that does not really allow for many people to be aware of what will take place at the city council meeting as there is really so little traffic through the city office between Friday afternoon and Monday evening. So what takes place is a group of people who work in the local boards who keep an eye on what is coming up and they come prepared while other citizens are not aware of what is happening and there appears no voice of opposition. It makes the City Council look like it is working against the will of the people. The way the paper wrote the story it was stated that they had to move the meeting to accommodate the large number of people who came. Why was only a small group aware of this meeting prior to it taking place? It is classic Ortonville Click Club. A few people come prepared and no opposition because they don't know about it.

If that was supposed to be a "Public Hearing" on the Trailhead Park Project if falls far short of integrity when that vast majority of the public was not aware of the meeting taking place on the subject. The city is supposed to be putting up the minutes AND THE AGENDAS on the city website. A close look at the city site shows nine meetings and only three agendas up. In order for the agendas to be of any value they need to be put up prior to the meeting. If the agendas are put up after the meeting what value is that? Vicki Oakes is the person in charge of putting up the meetings and the agendas on the city site. Why is she not getting the agendas up prior to the city council meetings? Is this a way of keeping the public in the dark? All I know is that the agenda not being posted prior to the meeting on April 5, 2010 certainly was to the advantage of the people trying to run the show.


Click here to see the post on the City Council Meeting on April 5, 2010 Lakeside Park, Does the City Have the Money

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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