As an update to all concerned, the Council recently held their meeting, the agenda for which is is posted here. It seemed clear from the agenda that the city would allow comments on the Harmony project, but when we arrived we were told that no comments would be allowed, that the public record was "closed."
As citizens we feel that violates the Brown Act, enacted to hold the city government accountable with open sessions. One of the more shocking statements of that meeting however, was when Mayor McCallon said the following:
"This meeting is for our benefit, the Council, it's not for the public's benefit."
Wow. That seemed a pretty shocking position to take for a city whose council code of ethics seem to lie in direct opposition to that. Meaningful public dialogue and acting in the interest of the people? It is our opinion that the meetings have not created an atmosphere of meaningful engagement, particularly when you directly TELL the public that the meetings are not for them. You can watch Mayor McCallon inform the citizens of their status on this youtube video:
So, we were grumpy, and called our friends in San Francisco. They echoed our concerns and we invite you to read their powerful letter to the city here.
This, friends, is why we believe it is SO important to show up in this process, and believe raising funds for counsel to represent the citizens is doubly important. We invite you to come and speak your mind (as much as we'll be allowed) at the next public meeting August 11th at 6PM. Mind you Mayor McCallon seems to think it's not for our benefit, but we beg to differ.