What I would do if elected

Assuming you are reading this because you read the first two of the priority series, here’s the third and final of the group. If you happened to notice I have been covering the published lists of items to be changed which I announced with my candidacy. I have added more depth, as well as covered a few more topics. This should finish the list and discuss one more a bit.

Our regular board meetings are now are available to watch live via zoom and may be viewed later at citizensforwestlkakeland.org. We need more. I envision full attendance capabilities remotely – your ability to ask questions or potentially address the board remotely. That capability should be used for all meetings – board special meetings – the planning commission - special committees. Ideally this should be automated, not requiring staff to operate. Is this your specialty? Come talk to the board.

If I didn’t specifically name it previously, the draft minutes of a meeting should be available for review as soon as they are completed. How ever we accomplish it – posting DRAFT or some other technique, I think the public ought to know what was discussed and any board action taken at the last meeting sooner than what is available today.

You see ‘OLD/NEW Business’ on the agenda, with no identification of what a given member has prepared to discuss. I say ‘NO SURPRISES’ – put on the agenda what any topics are. If there are planned displays or written information, make sure it is in the board packet AND public copies for the meeting. Truly NEW business could be brought up at the end before adjournment by the chair simply asking, ‘Is there anything else?’ and with no reply, call for a motion to adjourn. We don’t need OLD/NEW Business as a line item on the agenda.

There is a current limit of 3 minutes per person to address the board and that takes place towards the end of the meeting. I would remove that artificial limit, subject to being able to interrupt the speaker and perhaps covering the topic offline, or at the next meeting if the topic is taking a long time. I would openly solicit public involvement. Individuals wanting to address the board on a topic are encouraged to contact the clerk to get on the agenda for an upcoming meeting. In addition to removing the 3 minutes limit, move the open mic portion earlier in the meeting before decisions are made. I would try welcoming pertinent comments while a topic is being discussed by anyone raising their hand to be recognized. I know how frustrating it is to have something worthwhile to say which fits the discussion but only be able to speak after any action has been taken.

I would sign checks ‘offline’, after the meeting and necessary approvals rather than have everyone wait. This would be done with the idea of a shorter meeting.

This posting is a bit disjointed. What am I saying? Try non-standard techniques in conducting a meeting, disseminating minutes, encouraging attendance and interest in town government. With enough people working on helping the town, we could consider moving to a 5-person board with enough interest to hold the necessary election.

Town Government is grassroots, the most basic form of organized non-special topic government in Minnesota. With West Lakeland as an urban town, rather than in outstate Minnesota, it is not just gravel and drainage ditches, and agriculture. We have more complex issues, in many ways common to those of cities. Let’s enjoy our open lifestyle while being part of a larger metropolitan area.

Vote Vince Anderson for Town Board March 12