Archive for Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bring back the minutes

June 27, 2012

To the editor:

I am actively researching an issue seriously affecting my family, my neighbors and the community.

I have attended only two City Council meetings. The purpose for attendance of the first meeting last month was to observe procedure and gather data. I attended the second recently to plead for more data.

I was shocked to learn that an incredibly valuable resource, the searchable and readable meeting minutes, fell victim to budgetary constraints sometime last year. This missing data leaves a tremendous hole in the history of testimony and official record.

In my research, specific to my neighborhood, Crimson Ridge, I’ve gathered a tremendous amount of very relevant information.

I’ve imported, read and studied the meeting minutes from the Planning Commission, the City Council and city committees. I’ve found pages and pages of testimony from developers, attorneys, elected officials, city staff and concerned community members.

Try it yourself. I would highly encourage you to search the minutes, located on the city of Shawnee website, for something. Anything.

Perhaps you’re curious about an engineering issue within your neighborhood. You can search for the subdivision name. Perhaps you’re curious about a particular vote and the discussion surrounding it. Search for the ordinance number. Perhaps you want to know what the conditions of approval were for a rezoning application. Search for the applicant name.

You can search all of these curiosities or issues, as long as it isn’t in the past year or so. That’s when the data vanished. And every meeting that goes by without this data is tragic.

I stood before the City Council and humbly requested reconsideration of this valuable resource. Please voice your concern. Please ask our City Council to reinstate the minutes.

Tony Lauer

Shawnee

Comments

Arnold 5 years, 6 months ago

Tony is absolutely right that the published minutes should be restored immediately. But it wasn't really a budgeting issue -- it was a decision of Mayor Meyers, Dawn Kuhn and a few other council members who don't want their comments published transparently. There are audio recordings of the minutes, but voices aren't identified and it's tremendously difficult and time consuming to review them and find anything relevant to your issue. I get the feeling that the Meyers administration wants to "rule" the town Pendergast-style, and keep his side of the council away from all scrutiny.

The city council should vote to restore the published transcripts of the minutes immediately and post them quickly on the city's web site.

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