City Staffer Attempts to “Pad” Crowd to Push Agenda

“I wanted to let you know that the City Council is set to hold a public hearing 
next Tuesday night (October 16), 6:30PM, City Hall (5th Floor, Council
Chambers) on the entire 2012 Comprehensive Plan amendments, including

the Urban Forestry and Green Infrastructure policies. The policy draft
includes a recommendation to move forward with the Tree City USA
designation, endorses staff to work closely with Pierce College
designating them as a Tree Campus USA, a city-wide canopy coverage goal,
tree preservation policies, as well as many other policies the Planning
Commission endorsed to the Council related to sustainable, long-term
efforts to protect, preserve and grow the city’s urban forest. I have
attached the final draft here for your review. 
 
I am asking for your attendance at this upcoming meeting to support the
policy draft and let your City Council know that these issues are
important to you. We received over 20 written comment letters during the
public outreach process the Commission only had one verbal comment at
their public hearing last month, which in large part was negative toward
the policies outlined in the draft. As a member of the community who
supports these policies it is important to make your voice heard and
this is your opportunity to do so. 
 
I hope you can accept my offer and can make it to the public hearing,
next Tuesday, Oct. 16, 6:30PM (5th floor City Hall). Thank you, hope to see you there!
Chris Beale, Associate Planner” 

This email was sent to numerous city residents known to be in support of this urban forestry policy.  It was then posted to this Facebook page.
 
 We believe it is highly inappropriate for a city staffer to try and influence a public hearing or council vote.  The council needs to vote the voice of the people, not that of special interest groups.  The fact that there were many negative comments at the Planning Commission meeting means simply that people are not happy with this plan.
 
Planning Commission member Chris McNutt summarized the comments and his thoughts from that planning meeting and you can read that here.
 
When it comes to council voted business the city staff has the responsiblity and job to provide the council with unbiased information so they can make the  best decision for the citizens.  It is NOT their job to provide biased information to support their personal preferences.  Pandering for positive comments from friends in the community doesn’t fall under the guidelines of appropriate staff behavior before a public hearing and council vote.
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1 Comment

Filed under Council Meetings

One response to “City Staffer Attempts to “Pad” Crowd to Push Agenda

  1. Steven Shores

    Not appropriate Mr. Beale!

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