Both Meetings To Be Televised

My sources at Santa Ana City Hall tell me that there is progress being made in the effort to insure that both city council meetings will be televised on Santa Ana’s local cable channel.  In fact I was told that an item may be on the agenda as early as Monday night that will address this very issue.  This issue has made the rounds on the local blogosphere and I addressed it here at the Liberal OC with an article posted last Sunday.

As I have previously stated I hope the council decides to take the issue of open government much further than was proposed by Councilwoman Michele Martinez back in December.  Televising both council meetings is a good start, but Santa Ana really should take it further than the simplistic plan put forth by Martinez.  Santa Ana should take a look at what the city of Tustin just did when they put all City Council and Planning Commission meetings live on television and on the web and the meetings are also archived on the web as well.

Beyond the issue of televising the meetings Santa Ana must also look at ways to make open government a priority for the city.  As I have said previously they should take a look at San Francisco’s Sunshine Ordinance as a model for the type of open government we should strive for in Santa Ana.  This style of ordinance will bring the type of transparency that the residents are clamoring for.  It gives the people a look at who is influencing the decisions being made by mandating that elected officials and department heads make public a list of names of people that the have met with in regards to projects and other business that is before the city.  Currently in my position as Planning Commissioner I must disclose the names of anyone that I have talked to regarding agendized items and it is time the council and department heads do the same.

My sources tell me that as part of the proposed measure that will bring both meetings back to television there is also a possibility that there will be changes to the format of the city council meetings themselves.  What those exact changes are we will wait to see, but I am told that they will make the meetings much more user friendly for the public.  If the council moves ahead with these proposals it will clearly demonstrate that it is better to try and work with your colleagues to get things done rather than joining forces with self-annointed “revolutionaries” who revel in personal attacks on your fellow councilmembers.

  13 comments for “Both Meetings To Be Televised

  1. Anonymous
    January 3, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Why wouldn’t Michelle Martinez’s colleagues even second the motion that included web broadcasts and archiving of City Council meetings as well as televising both meetings?

    I’m happy to see that progress might be made on this important issue, but it is disappointing to see the type of petty politics being played with basic element of democracy in our city’s government.

  2. January 3, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Anon,

    Perhaps it is just as I stated, Michele’s plan did not go far enough. I do not know that to be for certain but I do know that the new proposal will have a twist or two that was not included in the Martinez Plan.

    Speaking of petty politics, I am interested to see which way Martinez votes on this. Will she support the measure or will she vote “no” in retaliation for her proposal going down in flames?

    That also brings to mind the following question, since Martinez is so solidly against Measure D, should it pass and extend the council terms from 2 to 3, will she make the pledge now not to seek a third term, given that she is actually elected to a second term?

  3. Anonymous
    January 3, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    Sean, please be specific in how Michelle’s motion did not go far enough. Here is the text from the December 3, 2007 Santa Ana City Council agenda:

    85 A. Amending Santa Ana Municipal Code Section 2-100 to provide for televised council meetings (Martinez)

    Recommended Action:
    Direct the City Attorney to prepare an ordinance amending Santa Ana Municipal Code Section 2-100 by requiring that all city council meetings be videotaped and televised on a public access channel, be made available as streaming online footage on the city’s website, and be made available in an online searchable archive on the City’s website for at least five years.

    I think it is great if the City Council really wants to make Santa Ana government more open, but to not even second Councilmember Martinez’s motion was just petty politics.

  4. January 3, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    “Sean, please be specific in how Michelle’s motion did not go far enough. ”

    Anon,

    Michele’s proposal only addresses the televising of council meetings. It does not address any other issues surrounding open government. We need to see Planning Commission meetings on the TV and the web as well. Michele did not even mention that.

  5. Anonymous
    January 3, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Before we start trying to enact the entire San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance, let’s just get both City Council meetings on television and on the internet.

    Michelle’s colleagues could not even second her motion to suggest additional provisions to make Santa Ana city government more open.

  6. Bladerunner
    January 3, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    I like the idea of including Planning Commission as well as Council meetings but anon is right–petty politics to not even second Michelle’s motion for the 3/4 of the loaf. . If they wanted to take it further they could have offered an amendment to add the Planning Commission to the video package.

    Maybe it was a combination of a)not wanting to give Michelle the credit and b) getting a taste of the almost universal criticism heaped on the council by press and public alike for the decision to only televise one meeting, not second Michelle’s motion and the laughable reasons given by the mayor for the above.

    And Sean, as someone who has long been fighting for change on the outside its good you are seeing the value of working on the inside. The inside-outside strategy is almost always better then one or the other alone. Do you really believe they would have come up with this but for the outside uproar?

  7. January 3, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    Sean-
    Your argument that Councilwoman Martinez’ proposal was flawed because it did not go far enough is disingenuous at best.
    Reminds me of Mayor Pulido telling voters he was against Prop. 187 back in the day because it didn’t go far enough.
    I know you remember those days.

  8. cook
    January 3, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    I will believe it when I see it.

    As of today it is not a listed item on Mondays agenda.

  9. Carl Overmyer
    January 3, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    Rob, Don’t hold your breath!

  10. January 4, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Both meetings are televised, I put the “un-televised ” on Channel 95,97 and 98. I have two years archived and can be played or downloaded at any time. Both meetings will be televised, either by the city or by me.

    Also I have a survey going on the site asking what people want televised.

    I am getting yes on all listed.

  11. art lomeli
    January 4, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    The not televising all council meetings backfired. Now we have Sean doing damage control.The reason given, why Michele’s motion is simplistic, Besides not beign accurate is as weak and comical as the reasons given by the other council members and the Mayor not to televise .

    This issue to now televise with revisions of Michele’s motion is intended to redicule and discredit Michele and nothing else. Public outcry made them revisit the issue. Their strategy is to include attacks on Michele to justify the revisit.

    Sean is blaming Michele for the council not giving a second to her motion?? ??The explanation for this is that her motion did not go far enough so the motion died??????

    The hypocrisy is clear and the public sees it. They just keep digging themselves in a whole while trying to damage Michele. It is a pile up on Michele. How petty and vendictive is it to make a bad vote then attack a fellow member that made the right vote?

  12. Anonymous
    January 5, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Sean, do you still think that “progress” has been made on this issue after reading the agenda for the Jan. 7 City Council meeting?

    Michelle’s motion was to do something.

    Sal & Co.’s motion is to talk about it and eventually do nothing.

    Bladerunner is right. Michelle’s colleagues could have easily amended her motion to include more, like televising the Planning Commission meetings, but instead could not even second her motion for discussion.

    Lame politics with lame results!

  13. just...asking?
    January 5, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Michelle understands what private citizen on a city council should be doing! The very best for its residents!

    Why politics should stop anyone from doing the right thing and not support Michelle’s orginal effort is beyond reason.

    Sean, Sal does not get off this easy…tell him to start acting like a true representative of the people who placed him in office then the healing will begin!

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