Live broadcast of 450th meetings contemplated

Historic City News reporters watched as St Augustine City Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline, who dissented from the October 24 vote to make the 450th Workshops “official meetings”, found support, Monday evening, from Commissioner Bill Leary — when he moved to provide GTV broadcast of those sessions.

Sikes-Kline says she feels that if important votes are to be taken during the workshops, the public should have the opportunity to hear the discussion that leads to the vote.

The previously informal workshops, proposed by City Manager John Regan once the collapse of First America Foundation was imminent, gave the public the right to observe, but not participate in, the discussion of 450th activities by commissioners and staff while complying with Florida’s sunshine laws.

After several workshops were held, Sikes-Kline made the observation that the workshops are lightly attended — a condition she attributes to the early hour. The problem for the commission is that no formal action can be taken on a workshop discussion without notice and vote in a regularly called business meeting.

Everything being discussed and decided had to be done twice — once at 3:30 p.m. and again at 5:00 p.m.

Agreement was reached for the December 12th meeting to be broadcast live.

However, due to previous timeslot commitments by the county-operated public information broadcast service, live broadcasts will not be available for all planning meetings; starting with conflicts during the Tourist Development Council meetings in January and February.

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer

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