Put meeting notices where we’ll see them
My wife and I attended the Carson City Airport Authority meeting on Thursday evening, Jan. 20, along with close to 100 of our neighbors. It was good to see this many residents of our neighborhood actually interested in this “master plan” issue.
It was obvious that one of the hot topics was the lack of information available to the public on when these meetings are going to take place and what the agenda is. The “Authority” maintained that they post notices “everywhere.” When pressed as to where “everywhere” is, they named such places as the courthouse, public works and other government locations. I heard one gentleman exclaim, “Oh, yeah, I go there every day!” This hit the nail on the head.
The “public” doesn’t go to the places where these committees post their notices. Is this an accident? You want to know where the public does go every day, or at least every week? We go to Safeway, or Smith’s, or any of the other supermarkets. We go to Long’s. Most of these places have bulletin boards where people post “want ads” or “for sale” notices.
I think if these commissions and authorities really are interested in public input, they’ll make sure their notices are posted in places where the public is likely to see them. In 13 years, I’ve been in the courthouse once – for jury duty. Public Works? Where’s that?
The day after attending this meeting, I read in our local paper where another meeting took place the same night. It was the Board of Supervisors meeting, and an italicized quote from the article reflected the same complaint as our meeting. Not enough notice given to the public for us to get involved in the “process.” I’m sure these people heard the same comments we heard about how notices are posted “everywhere.”
I strongly feel that “notices” (wherever they are posted) should include a breakdown of the agenda, not just the date and time. How are we (the “public”) supposed to know if any of this involves us?
Perhaps it’s time the definition of “everywhere” changed from local government locations (where nobody goes) to locations actually frequented by members of the public. I question how much “public involvement” these groups actually want.