Tuesday, May 23, 2006

YE-HA! Let’s form a committee and create some policies

I’ve sat through a lot of public meetings. I’ve covered planning commissions, boards of supervisors, city councils and several special committees.

When it comes to my local town board, I’ve attended the regular monthly board meetings for nearly 12 years.

That means I’ve spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours listening to discussions on issues ranging from proposed amendments to the prior month’s meeting minutes to whether to spend millions of dollars on important infrastructure projects.

One side effect from the experience is that you begin to view problems and solutions through a certain prism.

It’s not just the end product that’s important, it’s how you get there. Is the public properly notified? Is there ample time for input? Are questions being answered? Does it conform or conflict with existing policies? Are all the parties being treated fairly? Is there a plan? Does that plan need to be amended?

And so on and so on.

With regard to my previous blog entry about a “Confidentiality Agreement” that I opposed, I argued with station officials over the merit of the agreement. That didn’t seem to get us anywhere.

But then I got thinking about the process. How was the Confidentiality Agreement developed? What is the policy? Was a draft policy circulated among volunteers before it was approved? What exactly is the language in the policy?

So far, there are more questions than answers. Heck, I’m not even sure if there’s a policy. Or maybe I’m unaware of the policy regarding policies.

But I think progress is being made. It appears as if my input and that of others has resulted in the issue being sent back to a committee for further consideration.

So who will discuss the policy? The Policy Review Committee, of course.


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