Monday, September 20, 2010

Openness and modern technology

If you've been following us any time at all, you know we have been after the city government to put some additional information on their website. We have been very persistent about getting the agenda packets, which we consider an essential part of the agenda and minutes, online. They have recently been putting agenda packets up sometime the day before the council meeting recently, and taking the old one down before putting the new one up. There have also been a few problems with some of the packets not reading properly. Thought we were making some small progress towards more openness.

This weekend, I saw this notice in small print under a heading called 'New Feature' in its original type size

"As a courtesy to our citizens and the media, Agenda Packets are posted along with the respective agenda.  Due to limited space on our website, the packets are only available for that particular meeting and will remain on the website until replaced.  Every and all attempts will be made to post the packet in a timely manner before the actual meeting; however, due to the size of the packets and any related technical difficulties, we cannot guarantee this service for all meetings.


  1. I have to agree. You are the "geek" side of this team, I defer to your expertise, but "space" cannot be the problem. When I went rooting up Minutes and agenda packets (such as they were) from 2001, what, about 35 pages or so?

    The last few months we've been averaging 300 pages in an agenda packet. I am all in favor of transparency, but this verges on micro-managing without the managing. Does anyone think all our Council members actually read all that "stuff", to use the polite term?

    The ones who pay attention likely skim through most of the "stuff" and pay attention to the items that interest and affect their constituents; as it should be, I know that's what I do.

    Verbiage notwithstanding, I prefer having the info available. My interest in a zoning change across town with no registered neighborhood opposition is pretty close to absolute zero and liquid hydrogen, but if one of the neighbors is just waking up to it, and wants details, he should be able to get them. At 3:00 AM, in his bathrobe and slippers.

    We started down this path some time ago, I have written in support of what has been done and continueing in that direction.

    Mr. Turner is correct; if there is a tech limitation, it is NOT with the state of the art. Heck, I'm not the geek side, but I have a thumb drive I haven't used yet, I think it ran me $10, be glad to donate it. That will take care of 12 years.

  2. It's a little after 8:00 pm the day before the council meeting. Still no packet online. Will I have to wait until 3:00am for the Packet to be put up?