Friday, December 17, 2010

Pssst ... there was a Council meeting Friday

Posted By on Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 5:43 PM

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There was a City Council meeting Friday, but you could be forgiven for not knowing about it.

The meeting was not posted to springsgov.com under "City Council Meeting Schedule" nor did it appear under "Agendas." The short meeting, which took place before a meeting of the Utilities Board (aka City Council), was also not mentioned in the Utilities meeting agenda.

Hours after the meeting took place, city spokeswoman Sue Skiffington-Blumberg did not know a meeting had taken place, and in fact, flatly denied there had been a meeting. City finance director Terri Velasquez, likewise, was also completely unaware a meeting had taken place today — despite the fact that the meeting concerned city finances.

But wait! Doesn't the law require proper notification of a City Council meeting to the public in advance?

Uh, yeah, it does. But in this case, the city apparently only bothered to post a piece of paper at the City Clerk's office. The City Clerk's office was closed Friday, by the way.

Nevertheless, that little piece of paper honors the letter of the law, if not the spirit.

“It’s one of these technical compliance [issues],” says Councilman Tom Gallagher, who disapproves of the lack of notice. “I don't defend the practice, I just point it out.”

Anyway, the meeting was short. Council merely approved the new contract for municipal court judges. The judges saw their compensation greatly reduced this year because Council opted to pay them according to hours worked.

“I think it's a better realization of the number of hours they’re doing,” Councilor Scott Hente says.

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