Tuesday night Richland City Council will vote to change their meeting time from 7:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and eliminate the pre-meeting format. See email from Lukson below.
When Richland City Council Candidate Ryan Lukson interviewed with the Tri-City Herald editorial board prior to the 2017 election, he admitted that he had a problem with the way the pre-meetings were held:
“Lukson also takes issue with the council’s pre-meeting before the regular city council session. He questions why — since it is open to the public — it can’t be held in the large council meeting room. Instead, council members meet in a cramped chamber that limits the number of people who can attend.
It’s a question we have as well. With Lukson’s experience in county government, perhaps he could persuade his fellow city council members to be more transparent and more obliging in their dealings with citizens.”
Although the pre-meetings were moved to the new council chamber in the new city hall, they were not televised or taped and many people still thought the meetings weren’t opened to the public. Issues discussed in pre-meetings included the budget, the lodging tax, the marijuana petition, and locations and plans for proposed new parks among other topics.
Richland Mayor Ryan Lukson.
I applaud the mayor’s action to change the city council meeting structure, but the transparency of the information provided by the city staff and council needs to be very much improved. Example, the annual budget may meet state standards for content, but I will guarantee you few people read and understand it.
This is only one of several areas of management that needs to be changed. I will provide examples if you desire them.