Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton has asked for a study session to give residents a chance to have public comments before the council votes. At the last council meeting councilman, Dave Abdallah brought this subject to the attention of the council and was told by several council members bet you can guess who they are all the reasons why they just couldn’t do it. No surprise it was something that the residents wanted so, of course, the answer would be ‘NO’. As you can see from the letter the council discovered at their meeting that NO (Councilwoman Horvath) you don’t need a charter amendment to allow public comments before you vote. This would be a game changer for the residents if they use it. When you see several council members doing everything that they can for us we need to ‘Show Up.’ If the measure passed and the Council changes how they run their meetings then we need to change and show up for those meetings.
I can’t tell you how long I’ve been hearing people say what is the point if we can’t tell them how we feel about any given issue before they vote? That reason is the number one reason people say they don’t go to the council meetings. If the council changed when you are able to address them will you show up? I don’t just point a finger at you I point it at myself first. I’ve not shown up in the past several years as much as I did in the past. Mostly due to the lack of engagement from my fellow residents and disappointment in nothing ever-changing on the council. The same council members voting YES on everything the Mayor wants and NO on everything the residents NEED.
Watch this blog and our Facebook page for the study session date for this subject. Yes, your support will be needed just showing up helps.
September 11, 2016
Dear Honorable City Council Members,
At this time, I would like to seek your consideration, support, and change the order of the Dearborn Heights City Council Regular Meeting agenda to include public comments, or questions, prior to a vote on agenda items.
As discussed at the September 6, 2016 Parliamentary Procedure meeting, the discussion included this item was found to not require a Charter Amendment, but may be addressed by procedure. I would like to refer this item to a study session for further discussion and development of a procedure to embrace this concept.
The public comment, questions, or hearing before a vote has clearly been demonstrated to be most effective in representing the public’s interest; “in a democracy, the more people involved the better the result” (Koch 1997, 33), benefitting to the decision-making functions of elected officials. The complexity of legislative issues and how outcomes, will be better if all sides are represented. Furthermore, the linkage between citizens and their government is obviously strengthened when the public has ample opportunity to have their concerns heard by the elected body.
I seek your support to move and schedule a study session to further explore, develop, and implement a procedure to allow for public comments and discussion prior to the City Council voting on the items presented for approval, adoption, or any action, as needed.
Dearborn Heights City Councilwoman
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