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Fire Board to deny citizens the right to put items on its agenda

Original post made by Peter Carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood, on Sep 13, 2019

Fire Board,

It has been proposed that this section of the Board policy Manual be removed in its entirety:

Agenda Item Requests - Members of the Public
Any member of the public may request that a matter directly related to District
business be placed on the agenda of a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of
Directors. The request may be made during the public comment portion of any
Board meeting, but unless the requirements of the Brown Act can be met, the agenda
item may only be added to a future meeting agenda as a “Proposed Agenda Item”.
If the request is made outside of a Board meeting, the procedure is as follows:
1. The request must be submitted, in writing, to the Fire Chief at least one
week prior to the Board meeting, and
2. The Board President, upon consultation with the Fire Chief, will determine
whether the public request is a "matter directly related to the District
Business" and if so, it may be placed on the Board's next scheduled meeting
as a “Proposed Agenda Item” agenda.
3. The Agenda Item request from the public will be placed under the
“Proposed Agenda Items” section of the agenda. If the Board approves the
Agenda Item request, that item will be placed on the upcoming regularly
scheduled Board Meeting and the requestor will provide staff to provide
necessary reports and/or attachments for the Board Meeting packet.

The current policy has served the District well for over a decade, has seldom been used, and it places the Fire Board in a unique position of openness and transparency.

The message you would send to the citizens whom you were elected to serve by removing this policy it that you do not want their input. That would be a mistake and a disservice to the community.

Peter Carpenter


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