LETTERS

Cut out from participating in city government

Posted 9/16/21

To the Editor: I was extremely disappointed to learn recently that the City Council (and the mayor?) has decided not to allow public participation in Council meetings via Zoom anymore. I naively believed that our public officials would welcome public

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LETTERS

Cut out from participating in city government

Posted

To the Editor:

I was extremely disappointed to learn recently that the City Council (and the mayor?) has decided not to allow public participation in Council meetings via Zoom anymore.

I naively believed that our public officials would welcome public participation. There are many disabled folks, seniors, parents, and those with work schedules that do not allow attendance at meetings that begin at 5 p.m. and end anywhere from 9 p.m. to midnight. Public participation via Zoom is one way that all can participate in our government. Asking questions, clarifying issues, or simply providing feedback in the moment I thought would be appreciated by our elected officials. But it is not.

This makes me wonder why. And the answers I can come up with are not positive. On August 16 I requested a call back from Council President McAllister to ask the reasons for this decision, and if they were monetary, what the cost of continuing Zoom access would be. I never got a call back.

I also wonder how the decision was made – was there a vote at a meeting that was not public? How did the vote go? Although the City provides live streaming, simply listening to the proceedings is no longer adequate when technology so easily provides for all of us to participate in our government as decisions are being made.

I would ask that all Council members and the Mayor reconsider this decision. Our government should be as open as possible and our elected officials should welcome all citizen input. They can have this if they want to.

Barbara Walsh

Warwick

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