Monday, March 26, 2012

Big week for open government

Two meetings are scheduled this week; one in APS, the other in Torrance County.

In both, citizens will push back on government; they want to see what's going on with the power and resources being spent on their behalf.

As important as these battles are, the establishment media is conspicuously absent. You're not going to see the heavy hitters reporting on either meeting. The duties and responsibilities of the fourth branch of government, wikilink, have been trumped by something else.

If asked, I would argue they have bowed to personal and political loyalties.

It is an interesting juxtaposition of small town and big city government. Both are trying to set limits on public access to their deliberations.

In the one, the Torrance County Commission is trying limits on a constituent's right to record their meetings with her own camera.

In the other, the APS School Board is trying to enforce their edict; people are not allowed to ask them questions in public meetings, about the public interests or about their public service.

Big city or small town, it is the same; pols and public servants usurping control over power and resources that are not their own, and then setting roadblocks for citizens trying to wrest it back.

The terms of public service are the prerogative of the people, and not of commissioners or board members. If the people want to record them, it is their prerogative. If the people want to ask questions, it is their prerogative.

The Citizens Advisory Council on Communication is prepared to design a model for positive two-way communication between the leadership of the APS and the community members they serve.

The board, to date and for more than half a year, has stood in the way. The agenda for their meeting tomorrow, does not include a vote. The role call vote petitioners sought, as due process for their petition, won't take place during the District and Community Relations Committee meeting.

The agenda provides an opportunity for committee members to as questions of petitioners, but includes no opportunity for petitioners to ask their questions of board members.

There will be no opportunity for positive two-way communication
about the effort to create positive two-way communication.

How ironic.

No comments: