The County’s Public Information Officer has posted this new question on the County’s “Open Forum” at www.losalamosnm.us:
“The County Council currently holds two business meetings per month on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. To enable broader public participation, they are considering moving one of their Tuesday meetings to a Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. Do you think this is a good idea? Why or why not?”
During a Council meeting in January, the Council discussed having a different meeting date and time to enable broader public participation in Council meetings.
Currently, the Council typically meets three times a month at 7 p.m. Tuesdays; they meet twice in Los Alamos (council chambers) and once in White Rock (fire station #3.)
White Rock sessions are “work” sessions only; no action is taken and there is only discussion of the items.
Attendance at Council meetings is typically sparse unless there is a topic of significant interest on the agenda.
For example, the Council’s recent meeting about deferring some capital projects drew a very large crowd and significant public interest.
To further engage and involve citizens in local government, the Council is considering moving one of the two Los Alamos meetings from a Tuesday evening to a Friday morning (at 11 a.m.)
Some of the feedback Council has heard from residents is that busy schedules make it hard for them to attend evening meetings, or, that Council meetings conflict with other Tuesday evening meetings or events.
The County is asking residents for feedback: if one of the Council meetings took place on a Friday at 11 a.m., would more residents participate?
Would they personally participate? Even if residents don’t typically attend Council meetings, the County is interested in hearing their feedback about this idea.
Open Forum was launched in 2012 on the County’s website to give citizens easier access to comment on a variety of timely topics and to enable them to read other’s opinions on the topic.
It can be accessed by clicking on the “Open Forum” link located next to the “sunshine” icon on the home page. Individuals can read what others are saying about the topic and either “support”statements made by others, or, set up a user profile and log in to make add their own comments to the forum.
Residents can remain anonymous when posting. Residents who set up a user profile receive an e-mail notice when future topics are posted.
The deadline for comments on this question is 5 p.m. March 12. The final report will be given to the Council for discussion of this topic at its March 26 Council meeting.
Link to the County’s Open Forum here: www.losalamosnm.us/gov/Pages/PublicCommentForum.aspx#peak_democracy