City council communications

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To the Editor: 

I watched the city council meeting on Channel 23 the other night and was amused at some of the content. The Council/Citizen Communication Work Group recommendations were finally addressed.

The Work Group had three meetings and came up with only three suggestions. One was to extend public hearing time for citizens from 3 to 5 minutes. The second one was to prohibit the use of electronics by council members during council meetings and to have the council members pay attention to the citizens as they give their testimony. The third one was to have written rules for reference for council members.

I was the only citizen to attend a work group meeting to give input. I suggested the council only listen to citizen testimony and should refrain from making dispraising remarks during testimony. This includes telling the citizen they are wrong and here are the facts. The time to do this is after all public testimony is concluded so it does not become personal. During public testimony the council members should keep their opinions to themselves.

I also believe the mayor’s proposed Internal Oversight Process is a waste of time and energy.  The whole process is to censure a council member who breaks some yet-to-be-determined rule. My questions are, how many times will the process be used during a four-year period? Will all of the rules be clearly written so each council member knows what prompts an investigation?  Another question is what punishment can be inflicted upon the council member? The council should work on serious matters and not look for trouble they don’t have.

Bill Quinn
Keizer

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