The cost of real democracy

(The latest in a series of posts on City government)

Peter Crownfield is officially retired but spends most of his time working with students in his role as internship coordinator for the Alliance for Sustainable Communities–Lehigh Valley.


Regarding, the “Meeting Time Blues”:

1. Convenience for “staffers,” who are paid to be there, at the expense of the public‽ Not surprising for the CRIZ board, though, since their actions indicate that they have never really had the public interest at heart. All ABCs have to allow any time change to register—this could easily take a year after they start a campaign to make people aware of their issues.

2. Any board, whether they are considering evening meetings or already meet then, must realize that they need to couple that with making sure the public is aware of the issues to be considered—and their potential impacts, not just an arcane title. (Unless the board considers its actions unimportant, they should make clear the importance of what they are doing.)

3. The city should find a way to publicize the date, time, & location of every meeting as well as an annotated agenda that notes all the potential impacts. (On an easy-to-find page on the city website would be a good start.) In CA, for example, every issue on the ballot gets an unbiased analysis from a legislative analyst, showing both the pros & cons; before the election, these are sent to everyone as part of the sample ballot.

I suppose all these changes will cost some money, but that’s just the cost of real democracy.


One thought on “The cost of real democracy

  1. Peter Crownfield hits the nail on the head. City government and its agency partners seem to be more concerned with perpetuating political insidership than they are with good government and serving the public’s best interests. 

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