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Friday, September 22, 2006

Preservation Board Again Fails to Publish Advance Agenda Online

'twas the Friday before the Preservation Board Meeting, and not an agenda could be found!

The Board's website no only does not have an agenda today, but it lists the next meeting date as "August 28, 2006." While this oversight is no fault of Board members and likely not that of the Cultural Resources Office staff, whoever is in charge of updating this website needs to be chastised for constantly failing to provide citizens with the information they need to know well enough in advance so that they might plan to attend these meetings. The website is how most people get the agenda; few have time to go to the Cultural Resources Office to pick up a copy.

While I am a historic preservation professional and can easily attend these meetings because it is part of my job, others are not so lucky. Most city residents could not attend a meeting about a demolition permit if they only found out about it Monday morning and the hearing was at 4:00 p.m. That's barely enough time to send in a statement via e-mail. Meanwhile, developers who know about the permit long in advance can attend and in the absence of citizen testimony state that no one in the neighborhood cares about the issue since no one showed up.

Really, there is no reason why the agenda could not be published one week prior to the meeting. Items that came in late would simply have to be placed on the next month's agenda.


Joe said...

Actually, in this case CRO staff does update their section of the website all on their own. They have direct access. Still, they may be pretty swamped at times getting all those documents prepared, both in printed form for the commissioners and online in PDF. So I'd cut them some slack.

They do a much more thorough job than almost any other city board or commission in providing information online; although the Retirement Board comes close.

Anonymous said...

Still not ready as of 5:32PM today.

Anonymous said...

I'm not cutting them any slack because board chairman Richard Callow didn't cut me any slack last month --- he expects the public to know the items they wish to speak on and be there to sign the sheet prior to 4pm.

So say the one item you wish to talk about is 6th on the agenda and most likely would be done after you get off work at 5pm. Too bad! You need to be there before 4pm or you can't speak.

For those of us that follow these things, it takes time to review all these items and most of us work on a Monday.