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 Are City Council Minutes accurate? We need to change from VH

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mouthpiece
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PostSubject: Are City Council Minutes accurate? We need to change from VHS to Digital.   Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:15 pm

We make our communities stronger by promoting good government that holds are leaders responsible. We need to learn from one another and today we are going to discuss leadership and let's clean up our problems. I am going to begin by the community that really needs new leadership or massive changes in the existing leadership.

Ortonville last night conducted one of the poorest meetings I have ever attended. It started with three people complaining that the City Clerk, David Lang, could not and did not accurately take minutes of last months meetings. In the 28 years I have practiced law and on occasion witnessed a mistake or two. Three errors in one night is atrocious and Mr. Lang should be ashamed of himself. Other communities have the ability to keep accurate minutes and it is very important and leads to unnecessary conflict when the notes are not accurate.

Penny Hormann complained that the notes were not accurate, Mike Dorry complained that his vote was note accurate and Penny Baybridge complained that the notes were not accurate.

When confronted Mr. Lang had no response except to say that is what he remembered. Mr. Dorry pointed out the error and Mr Lang decided that he and the city attorney couldn't decide what Mr. Dorry's vote was so they, Lang and the city attorney, claimed he voted (no). After Ms. Baybridge spoke Mr. Lang said that he would not voluntarily make the changes and he decided that Ms. Baybridge had Alzheimer and her recollection was wrong.

Corruption begins when people claim mileage on trips they did not take and selectively inform the public part of the information. In public speaking we call this method of persuasion giving "partial information" to persuade to a position. Corruption is allowed to exist when the real people in power allow the acts to continue. Mayor where are you? City attorney where are you?

Mr. Lang needs to be reigned in and be held accountable. By the way, Ms. Baybridge requested the council to conduct an investigation of Mr. Lang. Mr. Lang pretended that this was not part of what was said.

So when you read the "official" minutes keep in mind that Mr. Lang doctored the minutes to avoid the request to conduct an official investigation into his conduct.

He does not want the public to know the truth.
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RK
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PostSubject: Re: Are City Council Minutes accurate? We need to change from VH   Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:11 am

I dont get this board. You can actively, put down, bash, call Mr Lang whatever you want, but others cant on this board? I dont get it.
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PostSubject: Re: Are City Council Minutes accurate? We need to change from VH   Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:15 am

What credentials does ms baybridge have to be requesting this information, i believe she is from big stone? last time i checked they are 2 different towns, and in 2 different states.
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PostSubject: Re: Are City Council Minutes accurate? We need to change from VH   Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:35 am

RK wrote:
I dont get this board. You can actively, put down, bash, call Mr Lang whatever you want, but others cant on this board? I dont get it.

RK if you have something to say about City Clerk Lang you are welcome to do so.

daniw wrote:
What credentials does ms baybridge have to be requesting this information, i believe she is from big stone? last time i checked they are 2 different towns, and in 2 different states.

daniw your post is not clear. What information was requested? In mouthpieces post it stated that Mrs. BayBridge requested an investigation. Mrs. BayBridge requested the investigatin because the act committed by Mr. Davig Lang and Ms. Vicki Oakes was done against her. As for Mrs. BayBridge's credentials, this is America. It is a free country. There are people all over this country who contact government agencies and are given information. Public documents are just that, public documents. They are not public documents just for one state or in this case one town. The Big Stone Lake Area Chamber covers all the towns in the area including Big Stone City. The local newspaper crosses the border and reports news in Big Stone City. Your argument is flawed.

It is interesting that the topic of this post is to make our communities stronger and your argument is to divide them by pointing out that they are different cities and different states. A community is greater than a borderline. You additude reminds me of the way the Ortonville Click Club thinks. They think of themselves as better than the little towns around them and disdain any comments from them. The Ortonville Click Club wants the little surrounding towns to come and spend their money here but want them to keep there mouth shut and stay out of our way. talking Fortunately there aren't very many people who think like that. Most of the people in Ortonville I believe are good decent people.

Mouthpiece posted that the Ortonville City Clerk David Lang has written the minutes incorrectly. The response by RK and daniw has been to criticize the messenger instead of being appalled at incorrect documentation. Would RK and daniw want someone to take what they say and twist it or even write things that they didn't say? You have no comment on that? Your bias is showing.

Both of you have posted improperly. Instead of addressing the topic of this thread you have chosen to criticize the messenger. If public officials are not conducting themselves properly then constructive criticism is in order. Here is the place where both sides can be heard.

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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


Last edited by Lady Hawk on Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Are City Council Minutes accurate? We need to change from VH   Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:32 am

Knowlege is power.
He who controls the knowlege therfore controls the power.

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daniw
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PostSubject: Re: Are City Council Minutes accurate? We need to change from VH   Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:28 pm

Lady Hawk - your a complete joke

Oh and if you block my name on here - and lock these topics down - I believe this is a Free Country, as you say.
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PostSubject: Stunning comback daniw.   Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:06 pm

jocolor daniw, that was a stunning comback. Now we all know that you have no opinion if a city official documents false information and makes it part of the city record.

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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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PostSubject: Let's get on Topic   Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:08 pm

Ms. Dani:

The New Media stands for making this area a better place to live. If you only knew what people say about this little corrupt community you would understand why Lady Hawk and myself believe it is time for a change.

It is Mr. Lang who wrote inaccurately not only about Lady Hawk but two others. Lady Hawk only attempted to correct the error.

Answer this question: Do you think it is right for an official who is supposed to keep accurate minutes in a governmental agency to misrepresent what was said?

If this is your belief then we need to discuss with you and help you understand that good government is honest.

In fact, there are real men and women who apparently understand this better than you who are willing to give their lives for good government. The least we owe these men and women is honest minutes in a governmental meeting.

For those of you in the surrounding communities this is the type of reasoning we need to change.


Last edited by mouthpiece on Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Are City Council Minutes accurate? We need to change from VH   Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:17 pm

To my knowlege there are three women who have spoken to the council and Mr. Lang did not correctly document what they said. When Mr. Lang had a chance to correct the recent misrepresentation he did not correct it. scratch

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daniw
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PostSubject: Re: Are City Council Minutes accurate? We need to change from VH   Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:53 pm

Question for the Know it alls:

How do you know this doesnt happen all the time? I hope you go to every government meeting that takes minutes and police them so the minutes are correct, once again, you "know it alls" are pathetic and a complete joke!
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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: Re: Are City Council Minutes accurate? We need to change from VH   Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:30 pm

daniw wrote:
Question for the Know it alls:

How do you know this doesnt happen all the time? I hope you go to every government meeting that takes minutes and police them so the minutes are correct, once again, you "know it alls" are pathetic and a complete joke!


Again this is not a valid argument.
Because we cannot correct every evil in the country then we shouldn't correct the evil in our own community? We do not have access to every meeting in the country but we do have access to correct our own. Every citizen is responsible for "policing" their own meetings. We need to be responsible where we are able and have an influence. Meeting minutes should be accurate. I have seen a 4-H meeting where a member stood up and said the minutes are not correct and they were corrected on the spot with the general agreement of the people who were there.

As Jolie said, it starts at home. corruption in government

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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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Zorro
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PostSubject: Re: Are City Council Minutes accurate? We need to change from VH   Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:37 pm

The posts here are discussing at two completely different levels. One side is trying to engage in open discussion about civic matters. The other is very uncomfortable with that and is trying to get them to stop by throwing personal attacks and ridicule. There is nothing productive happening.

If you read about the early Congressional Congress meetings in Philadelphia in the 1770s, this kind of civic discussion went on. If you survey the pamphlets and newspapers of that day, this kind of civic discussion was what let to higher ideals about government, inspiring great men and women to risk everything for freedom.

With professional media shrinking, lines blurring between entertainment and news, people have got to become more personally and directly involved in governance and holding public servants accountable. The alternative is too ghastly to consider -- abdicating our citizenship responsibility to blindly trust that "they" - presumably, either the Keebler elves or the gov'mint - will take care of things and that everyone is automatically doing the right thing. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

We've seen in the last several months how profoundly things can go wrong when no one is looking at what's going on. When people are left to just do the right thing.

We need civic discussion. We need involvement. We need people to be brave enough to stand up and speak, and for those with power to remember they also have responsibility...to listen, not freak out and feel 'challenged.' The person speaking is their employer -- the voter who chooses to bestow the trust in public servants.

People in public office and on the public dole need to remember they are accountable to someone. If they listen, if they engage and show respect and do the right thing, with the highest purpose of service, there is no reason for anyone to feel uncomfortable with this process.

King George responded badly -- so are some in a certain Minnesota community. Unfortunately, they seem to have a lot in common.
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PostSubject: Minutes   Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:54 pm

I have taken minutes for various meetings over the years and have had to make corrections to the minutes. That is why they are read aloud. And it usually done right at the reading of the minutes and made a part of the record.

My question is this - are the minutes actually written down during the meeting? Or does someone watch the video tape of the meeting and transcribe them from there? Who is actually taking the minutes? Maybe someone knows.

Are the video tapes retained for a period of time? Is there any legal obligation to keep those tapes for a designated time period?

As I was reading the posts here, those questions came to mind.
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PostSubject: Re: Are City Council Minutes accurate? We need to change from VH   Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:04 pm

Good points, nascargirl. The minutes are the issue here. Perhaps the method can be improved, but it seems that the standard needs to be addressed, as well. It's disturbing that an attempt and a request to set the record straight was shuffled off and ignored instead of embraced and appreciated.
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PostSubject: What happens to the video tapes of the Ortonville City Council   Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:51 pm

nascargirl wrote:
My question is this - are the minutes actually written down during the meeting? Or does someone watch the video tape of the meeting and transcribe them from there? Who is actually taking the minutes? Maybe someone knows...Are the video tapes retained for a period of time? Is there any legal obligation to keep those tapes for a designated time period?


As I have sat at the meeting I have watched Mr. Lang type in his laptop as the Council discusses things. Each time the council talks he types in the motions and the votes. I believe Mr. Lang types the minutes as they happen.

As far as the videos are concerned this is my understanding. The videos are taken to the Ortonville school and will be played on the access channel for everyone to see (at least for everyone who has access to channel 3). The videos are kept at the school for the year and then once a year they are placed in a cardboard box and brought over to the city office and they are stored in a closet. No one bothers looking at them. I was told that the box arrives closed and the person I talked to said she has never even looked into the boxes to see that they are there. I am not being critical here of the people who are taking care of the videos. This is just the way that it has been done and no one up to this time has questioned it, but frankly, there is no accountability for these tapes.

I do not remember the name of the person in charge of the access channel. She was very nice and explained many things to me. Such as the reason that the city council meetings were being videotaped was because at some point in the past people were unhappy with what was happening at the city council meetings so the began videotaping them. The videotapes were put up on the access channel for everyone to see. The tapes are kept there, at the school in a cupboard, until the end of the year. During that time anyone can come in and request to take them home and view them. This concerns me because these are the original tapes and are irreplaceable. Up to this time nothing has happened to any of them but one never knows what could happen. They do not have the facilities to monitor checking out videos. In my opinion that would be a job for the public library.

You also need to consider that video is "old tech." The city needs to upgrade to digital. My understanding is that the funds are there for an upgrade to digital. The City Council should approve that. All the former vhs tapes should be copied to digital. That will preserve all the original tapes. In my mind those tapes are more valuable than the written documents because they are the "accurate source" of the Ortonville City Council Meeting minutes.

The originals should be kept in a safe and secure place and copies should be made available to the public to check out at the library.

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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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nascargirl
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PostSubject: Meetings   Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:16 pm

As always Lady Hawk -- you are a great SOURCE! thank you

I agree, technology has come along way! VHS tape does seem to be a bit 'old school' in today's world.

I am thinking the person you talked with at the school was Shawnda Johnson. She was the person that had taken care of the access channel in the past and has been very helpful in the dealings we have had with her.

Now, would this be a project for computer kids at the school to make DVD's of these VHS tapes and having the library set up some sort of checkout policy? Or just make it some sort of streaming video on the City website? Just some thoughts...

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PostSubject: We can make our Communities stronger   Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:40 pm

We can make our communities stronger by making our government better. It begins with government listening to the whole of the elected; instead of a few who have impropoer objectives.

Government itself must be willing to be governed. Public officials are there to serve the electorate and most public officials do serve us well.

It is listening carefully that allows us to make better decisions. Instead of relying on the rumor of another we need to know all of the facts.

Believe it or not we are in a crisis. Government and business and we need to open minded about how to get out of this cirisis.

There is no one person who has the answers. Government needs to bring all people in instead of being an exclusive club.

Most importantly, how we treat others often times determines the respect we have for our government.

Running behind peoples back to criticize is symptomatic of the problem. In case, you haven't guessed, I believe in telling people to their face or in the column what I perceive to be the problem.

If government is not run the same for everyone government is seen as dishonest. Treating a new employee diffeerently whether that be treating them better or worse than a past employee is bad government.

To say nothing when government is making a mistake is our worst mistake. We are the government and government can only get better when we criticize and provide solutions.

This republic has been described as the greatest experiment in the history of mankind. All of us have a responsibility to tell our government what we believe and offer solutions.

The government has a duty to listen and respond in an even-handed way.

We are the government and we have a responsibility. The freedom of speech and the freedom of the press are the greatest gifts our founding forefathers gave to us.

Our men in uniform are willing to give their lives for this freedom and we need to accept our duty and responsibility to make government better.
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PostSubject: Re: Are City Council Minutes accurate? We need to change from VH   Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:07 pm

Well said, Mouthpiece. Wouldn't it be great if the community forum got so busy with open discussion and community socializing that we had to work hard to get a word in edgewise? I know that's the hope and goal of those who put it together and keep it there for us.
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PostSubject: Re: Are City Council Minutes accurate? We need to change from VH   Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:19 pm

Would there perhaps be a local tv channel to air the city council meetings so everyone could view them and there would be a permanent video archive. Gee this sounds amazingly simple unless you have something you don't want people to see or something you know is wrong. I have to say I'm surprised at how much your city Govt. seems to get away with. Good grief is anyone going to grow a pair and stand up as a community. Everyone in the community stands to lose if these city leaders do what they want when they want and are not held accountable to the people who elected them. This community sounds so corrupt it's unbelivable.If there is no record of the "entire " meetings would that make the business handled VOID. Seems pretty crooked or underhanded,deceptive,dishonest,or dare I say unethical. Citizens of Ortonville stand up and rebel or at least go to the meetings
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PostSubject: Minutes   Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:48 pm

Oh -- Lady Hawk can give you an answer on your question. There is a post regarding the city council minutes that have been on the local access channel...

I'll let her tell it.


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PostSubject: Should the city upgrade the recording equipment.   Tue Dec 29, 2009 6:23 am

Thanks for the vote of confidence nascargirl. Instead of providing a link to the thread discussing the video I thought it better to just move these posts to it because they are part of this discussion. See the last post on the first page for the information on what happens to the video for the city council meetings.

As it is now the minutes of the city council are played on the access channel 3 several times during the week but it is poor quality and many have complained of the bad audio. Perhaps the new City Council will address this problem. The first meeting with the new City Council will be on January 4, 2010. Thats next Monday. We will have to wait till then.

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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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PostSubject: Re: City Council Minutes   Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:34 am

I just accessed Big Stone City's website and noticed their December 14, 2009 city council minutes are already on the internet. Way to go, Big Stone City!

I think ours (Ortonville) should be posted that quickly too, and any corrections made at the next council meeting can be done at that time. Changes are rare. Lack of timely information is not.
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