Why hasn’t CARD posted minutes of their board meetings since December 2015?

12 Aug

Digging into various issues, I find myself all over the internet, using a lot of city, county, state, and other public entity websites. Compared to some of the sites I’ve been to, our city, county, and other local agency websites fall pretty short.

It’s not the website’s fault, it’s the way these agencies use them.  They spend hundreds of thousands a year on “IT”, but you can’t find what you want on their websites because they aren’t updated. Each entity is also very subjective in what they think they have to put on their website. A lot of useless information, a lot of out-of-date information, and a lot of button pushing just to find yourself back at the page where you started. 

They aren’t consistent in what they post. For years I bitched at Debbie Presson, why didn’t she have the council minutes posted in  a timely fashion? She whined about staff shortages, work work work. The city of Willows has their minutes posted through July of this year.   

The reason it takes a month is that minutes need to be approved by the agency board, they can question their clerk’s memory of events, ask for the tape, even ask that stuff they actually said be “stricken” from the record. Some  agencies only meet once a month, so it’s not unreasonable for the clerk to take a month or so to post the minutes.  

Debbie Presson suggested I should watch the provided video.  Hours of crap, fast-forward-fast-forward-wait-back-it-up – just to see what they voted on and how they voted? That’s a 2-minute scan of the minutes, why should I have to sit there digging through a video? 

So, when I went to the Chico Area Recreation District website to see what the board has been up to the last few months, I was frustrated to find, they haven’t posted minutes of their monthly meetings on the website since December 2015. 

http://www.chicorec.com/About-Card/CARD-Resources/Board-of-Directors/index.html

The city of Chico council and committees all review their minutes regularly, so does CARD. When city agencies review their minutes, the minutes are posted to the agenda on the city website – a roundabout way of reading the minutes.  But until recently, CARD has not posted the minutes with the agenda, so, up until about May, the only way a taxpayer can  take a look at the minutes for four or five meetings is present themselves at the CARD center and wait while a staffer bumbles around trying to figure out how to comply. I get a kick out of the look on these people’s faces when you ask for something they are supposed to make available anyway.

We shouldn’t have to do that, but as city clerk Debbie Presson and CARD manager Ann Willmann will tell you – they are not legally required to post the minutes on the website. 

And of course, they’re right. It’s not a legal matter, it’s an ethical matter. 

 

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