Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Citizens' Board Remain Independent

A decisive victory was obtained by the citizens of Palm Bay against an apparent power-grab by members of City Council.

Previously, I wrote about how City Council was attempting to co-opt the citizens' boards and committees by:
  1. "hand picking" one (1) member (per council member)
  2. reducing certain boards and committees down to five (5) members
  3. forgoing the application and vetting process

See agenda for more details:

However, after a significant showing by concerned citizens (i.e. significant for a workshop) and several Palm Bay residents voicing their opinions, City Council unanimously ditched the proposal. As expected, Mayor John Mazziotti and Council Member Kristine Isnardi spoke out against this potential power-grab. Moreover, several citizens in Palm Bay, also, united against the proposal. The consensus among the hard-working residents of Palm Bay is, "don't fix what's not broken."

In fact, current board members, who attended the workshop, suggested the reason why applications have decreased is because of hard economic times. So many people are trying to either get a job, or working more than one jobs to make ends meet. However, taking over the citizens' boards and committees by picking your own people without going through an application process and being vetted by the other Council Member is not the answer, of course.

The answer, obviously, is to increase advertisement efforts. Currently, the mode of advertising vacancies on boards and committees are two announcements during Council Meetings as well as City web page announcement. Some great recommendations were made to increase advertisements, if within a reasonable budget. Among these were:

  1. advertise through Hometown Newspaper
  2. set up signs on major roads in Palm Bay
  3. advertise in movie theatres in Palm Bay
  4. advertise through utility on-line billing and mail billing
  5. word of mouth by Council Members in every event, meeting, and conferences in the City of Palm Bay involving groups of local citizens

If you are interested in applying for a citizens' board or committee, please go to the following web page link below and fill out as many applications where you believe you can best serve:

Again, unless you were there to voice your opinion this would have been a power-grab done right under our noses. I'd like to thank all of you who exercised your first amendment right as an American citizen to peaceably assemble and articulate your concerns, respectfully, to our elected public servants. Remember, Thomas Jefferson said, "... Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..." We came together as one voice, we gave consent to our government, and they listened to us, not the other way around.

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