Events Center Campus Book Club meetings NOW open to the public

Funny how these things work. Councilor Stehly and Starr put out a press release announcing a press conference today at 1:30 to discuss a resolution opening the meetings to the public and then a mysterious email never shared with the council magically appears; (Copy of proposed ord: Events Campus Meetings RES )

An email from the event center group’s co-chairs Dan Statema and Jeff Eckhoff to Mayor Paul TenHaken said that the group had voted at their first meeting on Feb. 27 to allow the public and media to attend the rest of the meetings.

“We see no harm in having interested parties gain the same education we are as we progress through this process,” the email read.

Do you really think the public is that naïve TJ? Really? The only harm would be leaving the meetings closed, which is still on the table;

The email said the group would like to retain the ability to meet privately if “nonpublic” information ever needed to be shared, but said he did not expect the need to arise.

When it comes to a grouping of public buildings there is no such thing as ‘nonpublic’ information. Bucktooth & Bowlcut tried that approach with the Denty’s siding debacle, it blew up in his face. The only information that can be withheld from the public in closed door executive session has to do with pending litigation and personnel. Since this volunteer group wouldn’t have access to that kind of information anyway that means ALL of the meetings need to remain open. I think this is just a sneaky way of heading off Starr and Stehly to convince them there is NO NEED to pass the resolution, but I still think they need to so they have some insurance in case they try some back door deals. A statement in a supposed email about a supposed vote in a closed door meeting doesn’t cut the mustard.

“Our stance all along was ‘we’re not going to force you guys to meet in public if you don’t want that,'” Nelson said.

“They’re not in a decision-making role,” Nelson said in January. “We want to make sure we have the most open and candid conversation possible.”

Hey, TypeOver, when it comes to OPEN, NON-PARTISAN government, that isn’t up to you or volunteers on a task force committee. The meetings MUST be open to protect the public’s best interest and to have the best OPEN and HONEST conversations, there never should have been a ‘choice’ in the matter.

I would advise councilors Starr and Stehly to push ahead with their resolution to ensure the meetings stay open. I think the administration, especially Deputy COS, TJ TypeOver looks especially foolish for proposing closed meetings to begin with. If someone on the task force was uncomfortable with open public meetings, you pick someone else, it’s really that simple. So now we have to go thru a bunch of steps about supposed votes and emails, resolutions by councilors and excuses from Mayor TenHaken’s staff when we could have just done the right thing to begin with. See folks, this is what happens when you try to keep secrets from the public.

 



8 comments ↓

#1 Fluff McFluffin on 03.13.19 at 1:30 pm

That’s good news. I’m glad to see you are taking the news positively instead of spinning it into a negative “told you so” session. Now do us all a favor and don’t be a pompous ass when you go to these. Maybe they’ll be more likely to keep future things of this nature open to the public.

#2 l3wis on 03.13.19 at 1:37 pm

I can be as pompous as I want to be, and would never apologize for that, it was an idiotic idea to keep them closed to begin with, and I’m sure there was a lot of pushback privately towards the mayor about it. But, I will probably never attend the meetings since they will probably be in the middle of the afternoon during the workweek in some obscure room in the City Center. Either way, at least the ‘other’ media may have a chance to attend, and if Cameraman Bruce has the time, he may film them.

#3 D@ily Spin on 03.13.19 at 1:50 pm

Public meetings and polling places have become a scavenger hunt the media and public can’t win. Will future meetings happen behind curtains at Romantics and then announced a week later?

#4 Rufusx on 03.13.19 at 3:48 pm

Contract negotiation strategy planning is also allowed in executive sessions. Just sayin’. You missed one.

#5 l3wis on 03.13.19 at 3:55 pm

Ruf, thanks, I knew I missed something. Either way, they wouldn’t be involved with contract negotiations either since they will only be making recommendations.

#6 Blasphemo on 03.14.19 at 1:47 am

Re: “…email never shared with the council magically appears”. The highlighted portion ‘council magically appears’ provides a link to an apparent Argus story, for which I regrettably don’t currently have online access. So, refresh my memory: the controversy over these event center meetings – have I only seen it debated on Southdacola? Or, has this issue not also come up at council meetings in recent weeks? And, a Feb. 27 email to the mayor from the committee addressing this issue . . . had not been shared with the council in the ensuing 2 weeks – until today? WTF?

#7 Rufusx on 03.14.19 at 7:34 am

Ahem – you are still missing it. It is PLANNING a strategy or deciding on a position to be used in for negotiation – not simply the negotiation itself that is covered. I.E. making recommendations as to strategy or position is covered.

#8 l3wis on 03.14.19 at 9:30 am

Ruf, I think you are wrong on that. A volunteer making a suggestion is hardly a contract negotiation.

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