Atascadero citizens giving public comments during Community Forum at City Council meetings can no longer receive responses from the council or staff members present.
This prohibition was suddenly instituted by the mayor at the July 12 council meeting without any public notice, opportunity for public comment, discussion, motion, vote, or explanation of rationale.
Previously, citizens could expect clarifications of questions, references to information, brief discussions, or directions to make matters raised subjects of future staff reports or agenda items. This new procedure banning responses from the council turns what was once a two-way street into a one-way street.
This prohibition is destructive to the ability of the public to participate in the governmental decision-making process (the purpose of the state open meeting law), undermines the motivation to participate in council meetings, and subverts governmental capacity to respond to emerging issues.
At the Aug. 9 council meeting, citizens should urge the council to rescind the prohibition, validate responses allowed by the Brown Act, and place on a future agenda how to conduct the Community Forum.
Will you stand up for your right to have a responsive government or consent to having that right limited?
Willing to take a hit
I want to commend Grover Beach City Manager Bob Perrault for his willing to take a cut in pay. I’ve known Bob for several years and find him to be a great individual as well as a great leader. Good going, Bob. I hope some of our other leaders will follow suit.
Still honest people
A thousand thank-yous to the good Samaritan who found my wallet and turned it in to the Target customer service desk in San Luis Obispo.
Of course, I was thrilled to have my ID and credit cards back and be able to avoid the ordeal of replacing everything. Just as important was the feeling I got knowing there are still honest people in the world who just do the right thing.
Too bad we don’t have some adults figuring out our nation’s spending.
Why in the world are we giving Mexico $1 billion to drill off the coast, then promise Mexico we will buy their oil. Then, we give China $2.6 million to train Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly on the job. It goes on and on, and still they can’t think of any ways to cut the spending?