Thursday, January 27, 2011

Some other thoughts about the role of advisory boards...

One of the frustrations of being an engaged resident of Lake Worth, and at times for the members of the City Commission, is the amount of meetings that take place during the typical working hours of the weekday.  Most of these are "work sessions."  During these sort of meetings, action cannot be taken.  However, many time "consensus" is reached during these sessions - which in my opinion stretches what should be allowed during "work sessions."  But, whatever the case, many things are discussed at these meetings that could be handled by one or more of the city's advisory boards.

Here is a link from the city's website showing the number and type of advisory boards.  I already notice that it isn't a current list since the Finance Advisory Board, Community Relations Board and Marketing Task Force aren't included on the list.

If the city were serious about getting the best ideas, it really could use its advisory boards in a more productive way by parceling out some of the items dealt with by the City Commission in work sessions to these boards - asking them for a report back on a given topic.  That is, unless you are afraid of the answer that you will get in return.  Remember, this Commission is one with a sitting City Commissioner that led a petition drive to repeal ordinances.  That Commissioner seems unable to recognize this fact as the city goes forward utilizing what is enabled in those ordinances.  This is not an example that representatives who are supposed to speak for the "people" should follow.

Public opinion is not a political plaything.

You either are listening to the "people" or you aren't.  Using the array of advisory boards is one to way to do that better.  Otherwise, you are regurgitating ideas amongst the Commission and senior administration without any additional input.  Remember too that public comment is not allowed during work sessions.  I guess the current format fits the current regime's vision of public involvement just fine - or it would change.