Well, Raleigh’s City Council has done it again. Scheduled their public retreat while only allowing access to the public via in-person attendance. There will be no livestream of the meeting and the meeting will not be recorded for viewing later.

You may recall this City Council did the same thing at their earlier two day retreat when they held the first day’s events at a location in Durham where they had no ability to livestream or record the event. One might think they would have learned a lesson after the public objected that time. But, apparently they value their privacy more than the public’s access to their discussions.

You may also recall that this City Council claims to be all about Community Engagement. So why then, in addition to the lack of convenient public access, did they counter-program their City Council retreat against the Community Engagement Board’s retreat? Both events are happening on Saturday on opposite sides of the city. The Community Engagement Board retreat will be held at Chavis Park Community Center from 10am to 2pm.

One more recollection for you. The previous City Council’s Mayor Baldwin and At-Large Councilor Melton led the charge to defund CACs (Citizen Advisory Councils) in February 2020 based on the claim that they were not easily accessible to the public because they were in-person events without online or recorded options.

How ironic then that they keep scheduling meetings at locations where they can’t provide online access and they make no effort to record the events for later viewing. They continue to refuse to provide the same level of access they demanded from the CACs.

These are CHOICES they are making. And they are CHOOSING to provide the minimal amount of public access required by open meeting laws.

Livable Raleigh Editorial Team

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