New Lacey councilmembers make impact

January 9th, 2010 by Ken

At its planning retreat Friday, the Lacey City Council wrestled with how to get public input into the process early enough to make it effective.

New council members Andy Ryder, Cynthia Pratt and Ron Lawson were adamant that the council have debate and discussion on important city issues in public, where the public can have input.

All the pros and cons on issues are debated in committees, said Mary Dean, one of the senior members remaining on the council.  The minutes are posted on the city web page, Dean said.

“It’s a question of when the discussion is undertaken,” said Ryder.  If it’s done in committee then if feels like its being done behind closed doors.”

“It’s important that we have the debate and discussion in public,” Pratt added.

Lacey City Manager Greg Cuoio said the point raised is a legitimate point.  “The public has the opportunity to have input but we need to do a better job of explaining how we arrived at the point where the issue comes before the council.”

The issue of public input wasn’t the only issue of concern for the new councilmembers.  They wanted the council to be more visible.  To that extent, the new members have held public meetings to hear from constituents.

They pushed for the council to have more meetings with the public at scheduled times and places.   To that end, they have decided to attend the four neighborhood meetings scheduled this year

They also decided to have a council presence at community events such as the Spring Fun Fair, the Mushroom Festival and the Lacey Community Market.

Posted in Government, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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