Sunday, June 21, 2009

Government transparency

At the April 15, 2009 City Council meeting, I was very excited to hear a proposal by Councilor Steve Camara that would require the posting of schedules, agendas, and minutes, on the city website for ALL open meetings of Fall River governmental bodies (full text at the bottom). Almost every surrounding town offers this notice to their residents. What is our government afraid of? After Steve Camara's proposal was read, there was an awkward silence. Not one councilor moved to accept the resolution. It went a little something like this -

video

It is UNACCEPTABLE that Fall River does not offer this information online. Some councilors indicated they are waiting for Mayor Correia's magic new website, that has been under construction for way too long, to provide information on minutes, agendas, and notice of meetings. Do they seriously expect Bob Correia to create or allow a website that offers governmental transparency?

This information NEEDS to be online! And it can be done with minimal effort from the people we are paying at city hall.




A RESOLUTION PROMOTING OPEN GOVERNMENT THROUGH THE REQUISITE POSTING, ON THE CITY WEBSITE, OF ALL SCHEDULES, AGENDAS, AND MINUTES, OF ALL FALL RIVER GOVERNMENTAL BODIES’ MEETINGS, SUBJECT TO OPEN MEETING LAW, M.G.L. c.30A s.11A ½

WHEREAS the residents of Fall River and others should be able to obtain important information about local government via the internet; and

WHEREAS a growing number of Massachusetts municipalities have made it easy for their citizens to obtain access to key government records online. This simple and inexpensive action opens local government to more people and greatly improves their ability to be responsible, informed citizens; and

RECOGNIZING the purpose of the state Open Meeting Law is to eliminate much of the secrecy surrounding the deliberations and decisions on which public policy is based and that the democratic process depends on the public having knowledge about the considerations underlying governmental action, for without that knowledge, people are not able to judge the merits of actions taken by their representatives;

NOW THEREFORE, it is hereby RESOLVED by the Fall River City Council as follows:

1.) The Office of the Fall River City Clerk shall post all schedules and agendas of all Fall River governmental bodies’ meetings, subject to Massachusetts Open Meeting Law on the City website, no less than 48 hours in advance of the meetings; and

2.) The Office of the Fall River City Clerk shall post the minutes of all Fall River governmental bodies’ meetings, subject to Massachusetts Open Meeting Law on the City website no later than 72 hours after all said meetings.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

This was a line item in the budget last year !!!!!!!!

johnybfallriver said...

We only need to know what father tells us

Anonymous said...

Posting this stuff is very easy, at least as easy as posting the current spin under the news section. It would take all of 10 minutes (about 8 to produce the schedule and 2 to publish). What's the big deal? All I can think of is that they may not have a handle on the entire schedule of meetings.

This should be proposed every week, and any councilor who does not come on board should be held accountable.

Anonymous said...

they may post it but no one will read it

shamrock said...

You are on a roll tonight