Sunshine is the Best Disinfectant
Did you ever wonder why it is so hard to easily figure out what the IOP City Council is doing at the time they are actually doing it? Yeah, me too. Currently, the only way to know who voted for what is attend the meeting or spend 2 hours watching the meeting on video after it is posted online the next day.
Most of us just don’t have the time or energy to do this. I can quickly read a report and find the information I want, often in a matter of minutes.
As it stands now, council may vote on something that you may have an interested in. But there will be no written record of this until after the NEXT council meeting. Why? Because the city wants the minutes approved at the next meeting before posting them online. So a controversial vote taken in March won’t be on the city website until some time in late April or early May. Does this make any sense?
A new ordinance goes through 3 readings. The first reading is almost always perfunctory. The real discussion and decision making occur at the second reading which is really where it is decided if it will pass or fail. If it does pass, the third reading tends to be a mere formality.
This is exactly how things happen without the citizens knowing about them. After a first reading of a controversial ordinance, the second reading and vote will take place before ANY written notification of actions is published by the city on the website. By the time it is published, in all reality it is too late for you to make a difference by contacting members of council or speaking at the beginning of a council meeting.
Why don’t the members of council fix this by instructing the city to put the results of all votes taken on the website the day after a meeting. Pretty simple solution. Maybe too simple and that is why it is not welcome.