We want to hear from the citizens — but not right now
Author: Dan Njegomir - September 19, 2017 - Updated: September 19, 2017
As news folks and political gadflies — but probably few others — know, city councils regularly schedule “work” or “study” sessions in which they are briefed on local issues but take no action on them. The sessions are open to the public but not necessarily structured to take public comment, which can leave citizens miffed when they show up to air their views. The Grand Junction City Council has decided to address the concern head-on in the interest of clearing the air.
In an effort to work on a solution, future workshop meeting agendas will be labeled as a forum for elected officials to converse, not necessarily open to public comment. If councilors notice a large crowd has gathered for an item, they’ll also pipe up at the meeting’s start to tell people comments won’t be accepted. However, more time will be allowed at twice-monthly meetings of the City Council for residents to comment on issues.
Mayor Rick Taggart introduced the issue Monday night after hearing feedback from residents who believed they would have more of a say at some recent workshop meetings.
Says Taggart, “I think sometimes we confuse our audience … Do we want input from the audience … sometimes we don’t.”