On Tuesday 8/15 the entire Modesto City Council met for ethics training. It was a Brown Act meeting which meant there was a published agenda and the public was allowed not only to attend but to speak during the public comment part of the meeting. Now usually these types of meetings are held in a much smaller room than the Council chambers but since all of the decision makers in the City’s staff including about a dozen members of the Modesto Police Dept. were required to attend, it was held in Council Chambers. They don’t have video capability in the smaller rooms but obviously they have it in Council Chambers.
But as you’ll note unlike other council meetings they not only haven’t posted the video but are actually refusing to make it available for streaming even though they recorded it.
First we called the City Clerk’s office and requested that they make the meeting video available but they claim that it was never streamed and that they don’t make workshops available. I explained that after being at the meeting for about one hour I then went home and we watched the rest of it live on our computer. They said okay but they weren’t supposed to stream it. They are making the video available to any staff that missed the meeting at no cost. But the public? Well, we are kept in the dark and being sent the bill for the privilege. We’ve called the City Manager’s office and the Mayor’s office but so far they haven’t responded to our queries.
So what’s the big deal? Well, not only was it a tutorial for the elected office holders and city staff BUT it was also a tutorial for the public to let them know their rights and what to expect from public record requests.
And for the record despite the taxpayers paying for the elected and city staff that packed council chambers some still could not get there for the meeting to start on time. So Mr. City Attorney, you may have blamed the three minute public comment period for running 18 minutes overtime but that wasn’t the truth, was it? (It was one of Adam’s final comments that shows we were actually listening at home long after departing the meeting)
City of Modesto
SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Tuesday August 15, 2017, at 11:30 a.m.
|PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD|
ACTION: City Attorney Lindgren and Assistant City Attorney Sanchez conducted the AB 1234 Ethics Training Workshop.
|MATTERS TOO LATE FOR THE AGENDA|
|ACTION: This meeting adjourned at 11:10 a.m|