I had the opportunity to meet and chat with Kevin Kennedy last night (actually, both of the city’s two-Kevins) which I quite enjoyed. And during the roaming discussion that we had, including what does the City Treasurer actually do (it’s more limited than I would have guessed, but makes his role in pushing the AP&T issue into the open all the more welcome) and how to increase public access to city government.
At about the same time, Ben Kruger posted (here), an idea that Kevin and I were discussing a few miles away. Is this an open-government conspiracy to implant ideas into the minds of multiple Alamedans via some super-secret cell-phone/brain-implant technology?
The Transportation Commission has used random sample public polling to solicit meaningful input on plans like the Transportation Master Plan, initiated an email-announce list and posts agendas/packets on-line before meetings. One of the ideas, would be to include feedback collected from the website while streaming the council meeting. I’m not sure how that information would be presented in a meaningful way by the council in real-time, meaning that most of the feedback would be seen after a vote was taken (but I’m open to ideas).
Given the occasional disrespect hurled at Council people, board members and commissioners from public speakers standing directly in front of these city volunteers, I wonder how many would be motivated to receive anonymous postings from the web. I’m not sure if there is a substitute for showing up at a meeting and commentating, if one wants to react in real-time to information presented at a meeting. But I’m open to suggestions.
That said; there should be an easier way to give feedback on packets while one is looking at them online, receive updates on city meetings, and find info on ongoing projects. We should be looking at as many ways as possible to both deliver information to residents and collect feedback from residents.