Sedona AZ (July 8, 2012) – The following link will direct you to the agendas of the Sedona City Council Meeting(s) scheduled for Tuesday, July 10, 2012:
7-10-12 Agenda – Special Meeting
7-10-12 Agenda – Regular Meeting
7-10-12 Complete Packet – Regular Meeting
Dismissing considerable public unrest and discontent with the new policy of setting forth a “pre-discussion meeting” at 3:00 PM in the Vultee Conference Room, it appears a revised version of a famous slogan might be in order for this current City Council: “Ask not what your constituents expect of you, go ahead and call the shots as you deem fit.”
With the possible exception of initial City Council Meetings, after incorporation was approved by the voters, and with increased city issues and organizational determinations, the meetings obviously were extended in length. It became quite common for meetings to last until 10:00 PM or even midnight and beyond, when, in fact, meetings were scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM.
We now have a seated City Council complaining about the duration of meetings which have historically been lengthy.
Is solving that problem (under the guise of a Special Meeting a.k.a. Pre-discussion of an agenda identical to that which is provided for the Regular City Council Meeting) a viable solution?
Apparently, with the exception of Councilor Mike Ward who spoke outright about his concern for transparency of government, we have six council members who aren’t the least bit troubled about pre-discussions with staff prior to public comments being acceptable!
Sure, the Vultee (vulture?) meeting is open to the public – but conveniently not televised, audio only. Of course the possible cop-out excuse for opting out of TV availability in Council Chambers is that the Justice Court, may or may not, be using the facility – it has that option on Tuesday afternoons.
Clearly the voting public is being inconvenienced insofar as listening to staff and council members dialog prior to the “official” meeting. Clearly these essentially perceived “off-the-record discussions“ are influential in assisting the City Council to decide how they will vote during the for-real meeting.
That said, what possible influence could public input (limited to three minutes per person) have on a Council that has, most likely, already predetermined how they will vote on a given issue - having had their questions to staff fielded in the “pre-discussion” meeting?
Would it not be a positive step for the morale and confidence of this community if Mike Ward were able to convince three of his council colleagues to refrain from attending this Special-Pre-Discussion-Workshop Meeting thereby denying the presence of a quorum necessary for a legitimate meeting of the seven City Council members?
The alleged “real” council meeting is available on Cable TV Channel 4 beginning at 4:30 PM.