Urgent! A Council Discussion Not To Miss!

February 13, 2006

We were looking over the Agenda for this week’s Council meeting and thought we’d draw your attention to Item #10. The agenda is posted below for you to see for yourself.

The Council will be discussing when staff reports are made available to applicants, in advance of their appearances at public meetings.

If you’ve seen (as the COWs have) the staff too often give reports to applicants so close to the meeting that there’s no time to rebut or even prepare, you won’t want to miss this meeting!

0 Comments on “Urgent! A Council Discussion Not To Miss!

  1. Debbie Dodge

    First I would like to say that I really enjoy your site and the opportunity it provides to know what others think. I also very much appreciate the ability to be able to voice my opinion or concerns. Thank you.

    I went to this Council meeting expressly to hear the discussion on this item. The issue of when staff reports are available is a very important one for several reasons first and most obvious is that the earlier an applicant knows what is in the staff report the better able to prepare for what will be discussed at the meeting. Since applicants/citizens often times spend a year or more in the planning stages spending many thousands of dollars on experts, they should know well in advance if there is a problem and not learn it at 7 pm the Friday before their hearing. The Council, Commissioners and Board members also need to have enough time for a careful review of the project. W Woodsiders should have time to review reports on all subjects and have time to be able to plan for and attend meetings that have items that concern them.

    Pete Sinclair should really be thanked for taking the lead and insisting on a 7 day lead time for staff reports. With good support from Mayor Deborah Gordon and Paul Goeld, the Council unanimously voted to have staff bring them an ordinance or resolution with this requirement. Pete Sinclair, Mayor Deborah Gordon and Paul Goeld clearly realized how great the problem is with the current system. Pete Sinclair also commented on the problem that arises when an applicant believes they have staffs full support and then when the staff report comes out they find out that staff does not support the project (this is another whole issue and will hopefully be addressed during the revamping of the Planning and Building departments). I hope when the Council adopts the ordinance or resolution, they will direct staff to post all staff reports on the Town’s website as many communities do. For the price of a good scanner, the Town will save staff time, lots of paper and increase governmental transparency. Anyway, this meeting was a positive step forward.

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