Planning Commission Meeting Tonight

Please stay active in attending meetings  – this allows our voices to be heard and keeps our community concern visible as we hold our representatives accountable

On July 19, the Task Force came to City Hall with “questions collected from our neighbors” that were related to the processes, procedures, and protocols that will be followed as we seek to ask and have answered questions related to housing in the Lake Center District.  Like the City, the Task Force “want[s] to ensure that all voices and concerns are heard.”  This is appropriate for a first meeting setting the framework for both transparency and accountability.

As an initial matter, we did have two of our questions answered.

  • First, the City confirmed that the Task Force WILL NOT be required to utilize the FOIA process as it seeks information from the City.  This is an important issue and we thank the City for its commitment.
  • Second, the City confirmed that there will be an opportunity for more than one round of questions, acknowledging that certain answers are likely to lead to more questions.  Again, this commitment is greatly appreciated and is consistent with the City’s goal of ensuring that all voices and concerns are heard.

That said, the Task Force has the following questions that neither Council Member Ledbetter nor Mr. Dame could answer during our meeting.

  1. Will the City establish an on-line portal through which the Task Force can submit questions?  If not, how does the City propose to keep the general public informed of what questions have already been submitted to the City?  If the City does not have a portal, what procedures does the City have in place to document the questions that have been received and whether and to whom they have been assigned for answers?
  2. Will the City establish an on-line portal in which the Task Force (and the general public) can see the responses to the questions that have been submitted?  If not, how does the City propose to keep the Task Force and the general public informed of answers that the City has provided to the questions asked?
  3. Will all questions be answered at the same time or will the City answer them as answers become available?
  4. What plans does the City have to conduct a meeting with the general public after the City has answered the questions submitted by the Task Force?  Is the City going to provide the Task Force with an opportunity to present what it learned at a City-sponsored meeting?
  5. What other processes and procedures need to be in place for the City to be able to meet its commitment that all voices and concerns will be heard?

We look forward to receiving responses to these important, gate-keeping questions.  In the meantime, we continue to work with our multiple stakeholders to assemble and organize the substantive questions so as to lessen the burden on City employees to do so.  To that end, Mr. Dame agreed to send all of the questions that have already been received by the City directly to the Task Force can submit those questions as part of the Task Force’s submission.  We are awaiting a full list of questions and/or letters of concern from residents.

At the conclusion of the initial meeting, the city did not schedule a follow-up meeting and would work on the initial process questions presented.  The task force will continue to engage the city in a way that will productive and strategic in achieving neighborhood goals.  We will provide updates 1-2 times each month so you are informed about the progress.