Tim Niles is a founding member of Livable Raleigh and has been a resident of Raleigh for over 30 years.

At the June 20, 2023 City Council meeting he delivered these public comments:

I start my comments today with a nod to another regular speaker who always uses relevant song lyrics.

A little respect then for Marvin Gaye.

Ooh, bet you’re wondering how I knew

‘Bout your plan to make me blue

Ooh, I heard it through the grapevine
Yes, I heard it through the grapevine
And I’m just about to lose my mind

Now you’re asking yourselves what has he heard through the grapevine?

I heard that since the City Manager was named Interim City Clerk, she has stopped the practice of recording and filing minutes of closed session meetings.

And, she has stopped allowing anyone from the Clerk’s office to attend closed session meetings.

Closed session meetings used to have minutes recorded by the Clerk’s office and filed in a “vault” for safe-keeping.

Residents could file records requests for thoae minutes and they would be removed from the vault, reviewed by the City Attorney for necessary redactions and delivered to the requestor.

I have questions:

What’s the reason for this change?

Is this a violation of law or the City’s Charter?

What are you trying to hide from the public?

Is it just a coincidence that stopping this record keepng practice began when closed session meeting discussions began for the Missing Middle lawsuit?

Or, is this a reaction from Mayor Baldwin to the fact that the City Clerk’s Office responded honestly to a public records request and blew the whistle on her by releasing documentation of her actions in removing speakers, without justification, from the Public Comments agenda who wanted to talk about reparative justice? (Caught Red Handed)

To quote a great news woman, Roseanne Roseannadanna:

Mr. Niles, you sure ask a lot of questions for a guy from North Raleigh!

But, this is NOT funny. This is serious.

It shows the absolute necessity of keeping the City Clerk’s office independent from the City Manager.

It’s the only way to begin to restore the public’s confidence that this council is operating in a manner that is above reproach.

Do better.

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