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Time to Revisit Changing City Council, School Board Meeting Dates?

The times and dates of meetings have conflicted for years. Few have noticed.

 

Correction: A quote attributed to Lakewood law director Kevin Butler should have been attributed to former schools treasurer Rick Berdine.

Every couple of weeks, I’ve got a tough decision to make: meeting or meeting.

Contrary to what some folks think, I cannot be at two places at once.

Each of the meetings takes place at the same time — on the first and third Monday of every month.

Well, school board meetings start a half-hour before city council, but it doesn’t make much difference.

Both city council and school board serve as the executive branch of local government. They both pass laws and policies.

Typically, I follow up on the meeting that I missed. It’s usually not a problem.

Every once in a while, there are issues important to Lakewood residents at each meeting.

Turns out, concerned citizens can’t be in two places at once either.

Is it time to change the meeting times? It may get more citizens involved in some of the important issues in our community.

Or they may just stay on the sidelines.

Kevin Butler, the city’s law director and former Ward 1 councilman, said that the city charter does not mandate the time and place of city council meetings. He said the charter only dictates that the meeting dates and times be consistent each month.

School district spokeswoman Christine Gordillo told me that the board would have to amend its policy to change the meeting dates and times.

The last time something like that happened was three years ago, when the board eliminated a meeting-of-the-whole, scheduled before the second meeting of the month. 

“I suppose if enough people complained to them they would consider changing it,” said Gordillo.

It’s entirely possible that I am the only one asking. 

School board vice president Ed Favre said, from an administrative standpoint, it’s easier for the district to keep the meetings on the same date.

“You’re the first person who’s brought this up,” he added.

Maybe I’m the only person who cares.

Much to my disappointment, very few residents attend either meeting anyway. I can name the citizens — on one hand — who attend each meeting every month.

Maybe folks don’t care what happens in the schools or city government.

Or perhaps, like me, they can’t decide which meeting to attend.

Regina Milsaps August 13, 2012 at 03:57 PM
It is time for Lakewood to grow up and take care of its self. Let both of them choose a new day. Mondays are never good anyway. How about Tuesdays and Thursdays? It isn't just about Council and the Board. Its more about all of us lazy, "I know I should go", types that let these things happen.
Lkwd44107 August 13, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Colin, I like your suggestion about changing the date/time of the meetings. I would be very surprised if either changed theirs.
Susan Kaminski August 13, 2012 at 08:05 PM
I never realized both groups meet at the same day and Colin, your point is a good one that they should meet on separate days. I have to admit that I've only attended a couple of city council meetings over the years and haven't continued, mostly due to the length of time the meetings take.
Colin McEwen August 14, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Thanks for the feedback, everyone! Hope to see you at a city council or school board meeting soon! But not both. That'd be impossible.
Peter Grossetti November 09, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Let's try to do something about this. Meet me at Root Cafe Saturday morning (November 10) at 8am if you want to be a part of an initial conversation to stop this insanity. Bring your ideas .. or if you cannot attend, post anything you want added to the discussion here.

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