Keeping residents uninformed
The Strategic Planning Workshop (this year held on March 23) is arguably the City Council’s most important public meeting of the year. Police, Fire and city employees are always well represented, but few residents are in attendance. The city does little to promote civic engagement. If anything, it actively discourages community involvement in the following ways:
- The workshop is not properly noticed in accordance with the Brown Act. The law requires that the agenda be posted at least 72 hours before meetings are scheduled to begin, and in a location that is “freely accessible” to members of the public. This is not the case in La Mesa.
- The workshop is poorly advertised and promoted. It gets scant mention at City Council meetings, but is not listed on the city’s website calendar. There is no signage outside the venue in the days preceding the event.
- The workshop is held on a weekday, when most residents are at work.
- The workshop is held in the Emergency Operations Center, one of the city’s smallest venues with a maximum occupancy capacity of 77 persons.
- Unlike City Council meetings, the workshop is not broadcast on Cox Cable channel 25. Residents are not able to view the proceedings remotely in real time.
- The session is not videotaped. Residents are unable to purchase a DVD copy from the city as they are City Council meetings.
- The proceedings are not available for viewing on the city’s website.
- An audio tape is the only live record of the eight-hour proceedings. Audio recording of past events have sounded more like a FBI wiretaps between Tony Soprano and Paulie Walnuts than the official record of a government meeting.
The La Mesa City Council talks a great deal about transparency, accountability, and open government, but when it has the chance to back up those words with actions, it once again pays only lip service to its lofty ideals.
—Joseph Glidden, La Mesa
Not happy with Lookout
Re: “Meet me at The Lookout” [Volume 6, Issue 6 or bit.ly/2ntf1O0]
Dear La Mesa:
Thanks for fixing that clock with frozen time at the entrance to our beautiful village (across from Sheldon’s) where the metal snail burns small children on sunny days and the tiles are such dull colors they suggest a boring town. Next time ask people on the street before you spend good money on great art. (No offense to the artist intended.)
—Ronald Young, La Mesa
Story about tax return vote?
I was hoping you could pick up a story. Yesterday, SB149 passed the judiciary committee. This is a California bill that would require presidential tax return disclosure. There were two no votes. One was Joel Anderson, from District 38 – East San Diego. He voted to keep Trump’s returns secret even though the latest poll showed 74 percent of all voters and 53 percent of Republican voters favor disclosure. Do you have a political beat reporter that could write about this so constituents know Sen. Anderson is voting to keep Trump’s returns secret?
—Dan Wohl, via email
[Editor’s note: The La Mesa Courier covers local political elections but does not have a political reporter that covers state or national politics. However, we do offer local groups representing each political party a column in the paper; offer politicians and political commentators to write op-eds in our opinion pages; and offer citizens the chance to comment on politics in letters to the editor, as long as the letters are not offensive.]