How many times have we been shafted as citizens because our right to weigh in was abridged or eliminated?
Getting the City Council Agenda on a Friday and trying to get straight answers from council members or staff about an item is an unnecessarily frustrating exercise in democracy.
There is too little time to get answers, ask questions, make recommendations, offer suggestions or anything we the people may have to say.
During Summers the Council meets every other week. No reason we couldn’t adjust the posting time and not miss a beat with staff work flow. We could implement this in a few short months.
If a recent City Council meeting is any guide, maybe we’ve reached a tipping point for expanded public participation in our public affairs.
Could it be time for Riverside to draft a sunshine ordinance of it’s own?. It reminds me of the neighborhood slogan that says, ‘if it’s about us and it’s without us, it’s not for us’. That sums up the conducting of City business and our opportunity to engage in effective public dialog with our elected officials and City staff. I wonder what we’d come up with for our Riverside Manifesto Of Right To Public Participation or a Citizens Bill Of Rights .
I know we’d restore our right to pull an item off of the consent calendar for discussion. We’d probably have no limit on putting speaker cards in during the item being discussed.
Maybe with a new City Manager and City Attorney, we can explore how to quickly restore our rights to participation and full transparency at all city council and committee meetings. That means great video or complete, unedited, full face shots of all speakers .
One thing that makes sense is to allow any speaker to plug in a thumb drive to illustrate or compliment their time – all three precious minutes of it.
We risk better government and better results. Check out what San Jose’s Sunshine Ordinance looks like. let’s start add your ideas.Pass it on.
For those who remember our public calls for action regarding the conditions in our neighborhood, Letitia Pepper was arrested for clapping at one of those city council meetings.
Rusty Bailey and Greg Priamos are both saying in their depositions that Letitia was yelling and screaming from the back of the room and running from chair to chair.
If you remember it differently, please stop by Letitia’s house, 503 Highlander this Saturday between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and let her lawyer know what you saw. Thanks in advance for your support.
Thirty Miles Of Corruption had a well documented post regarding the way politics is being played at City Hall and why we should be storming the castle to get this sorted out.
One of the points brought up was a Charter amendment to put some transparency and process back in the public spotlight.
As taxpayers, we expect our elected council members have a right to speak to any department, any employee or any City employee about any matter of interest to their voting public.
That’s one reason we should be getting our meeting agendas and notices two weeks, or ten business days in advance.
CITY OF RIVERSIDE: STONEWALLED COUNCIL SIT’S WATCHING, WHILE SECOND CITIZEN ARRESTED FOR APPROVAL CLAPPING!
On June 25, 2013 at City Council in the City of Riverside, Letitia Pepper, Esq., former Best, Best & Krieger Attorney, was arrested for clapping in approval of statements made by public speakers. If you recall, public speaker Karen Wright was arrested last November 2012 for speaking 16.8 seconds over the 3 minute rule. Mike […]
The public is invited to a meeting to recommend amendments to theÂ Code Ethics and Conduct next month at City Hall.
On Sept. 7 at 4 p.m. in the Mayorâ€™s Ceremonial Room (7th Floor), the City Council Governmental Affairs Committee is holding an annual meeting to formulate recommendations to the City Council.
The City Council will hear those recommendations at 7 p.m., Sept. 20, in the Art Pick Council Chamber. The public is invited to attend.
For more information, visit the following link on the Cityâ€™s Web site athttp://www.riversideca.gov/city_clerk/pdf/2010ethicsagendadclr.pdfÂ Â or call the City Clerkâ€™s Office at(951) 826-5557 for a brochure and a copy of the code.
Send us an e-mail with your answers to the 13 questions. You may e-mail directly toÂ firstname.lastname@example.org
With an ethics panel, charter review and mayoral election ahead and a new city manager, it’s never been a better time to put some transparency in our civic affairs.
That means at the minimum, video recordings of committee meetings, made available withing 24 hours and for a Smart City, that wouldÂ look like live streaming video with interactive public participation and input.
This is not complicated technology. We can do this right now. It’s another reason to upgrade the city’s Wi-Fi network.Â Bandwidth is weak. We can do better.
Without a meaningful or rewarding user experience,Â our achievement – Citywide Wi-Fi – will become meaningless. The Smart City initiative as proposed inÂ Seizing Our Destiny should not become a joke. Transparency of civic affairs is reason enough to leverage technology for greater participation.
Anyone looking to be mayor or city manager would be wise to develop a platform for turning this into a reality within 90 days of taking office.Â We’re going to need more participation not less if Riverside is to be the City of Our Dreams Now.
The upside to a transparent civic process, easy citywide access to that process and feedback from citizens and taxpayers would be:
- A focus on what’s urgently wanted and needed most, right now for all of us
- A way to solicit the broadest range of ideas andÂ workable solutions
- A fast way to rank relevance
- A way to utilize social networking for a greater quality of life
- A way to make connections city wide around cooperative interests
I don’t see a downside to more of us being connected around Riverside being the City Of Our Dreams Now. Do You?
There is another news source in town called Thirty Miles Of Corruption.Â They ask some of the hard questions that are often obvious to us but don’t show up in the paper.Â Maybe knowing there are a lot of us asking these questions will give City Hall something to consider as they go about the business of making Riverside the City of Our Dreams Now.