Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What's cooking behind the scenes?

Woodstock used to have a Cultural Diversity Commission. Toward the end of its life (yes, it's gone) meetings grew farther apart, were often canceled, and were not well attended.

After the April 27, 2009 meeting, there were no further meetings in 2009. There were no meetings in 2010. So much for cultural diversity; right?

In 2011 there is an Agenda on the City schedule for April 18. There are minutes for an April 27 Regular Meeting. Was the April 18th agenda a mistake? There were no other meetings in 2011; at least, no Agenda for any meetings in 2011 were published on the City's website.

Then there were no meetings in 2012.

However, a new commission was established, called the Cultural and Social Awareness Commission. From the City of Woodstock website, "This advisory commission promotes mutual understanding and respect and furthers the goals of eliminating prejudice and discrimination, enhancing awareness of the benefits of a culturally diverse community, and awareness of current social issues within a vital, growing community. This Commission meets quarterly in the Council Chambers of Woodstock City Hall"

It met (maybe) on October 12, 2012; an Agenda was published but no Minutes are pubished.

On November 20, 2012 an Agenda for a meeting was published. For a commission that meetings quarterly, why would a Regular Meeting be scheduled only one month after the previous meeting. No Minutes are posted online.

The November 20, 2012 Agenda lists Minutes of a September 26, 2011, meeting to be approved. But there was no September 26, 2011 (Cultural Diversity Commission) meeting announced! Was it some type of secret meeting of a public body?

And why are meetings at 10:30AM on a weekday, when residents are at work and cannot attend?

An interesting item on the October 12, 2012 Agenda, at Item VI, is "Zacatecas". The Minutes, if they can be found, ought to reveal what the discussion of Zacatecas was. Remember when City officials took a road trip to Zacatecas. (Our sheriff's department has ties to Zacatecas, too.)

I seem to remember a statement that no City funds were expended for that road trip. Is my memory correct?

One of the reasons that no Minutes are posted for the new Commission is that that Commission isn't even listed in the index for Commission Minutes on the City's website. The Cultural Diversity Commission is still there, bu the new commission is not.

Is this just an oversight, or is it part of Woodstock's "transparency" in government?

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