Syracuse battles on how meetings are recorded

Nov 6 2011 - 11:26pm

SYRACUSE -- How the minutes for city council meetings are reported has become an issue in this community.

Typically approval of the minutes from past meetings is almost routine. That changed at a recent meeting when Councilman Larry Shingleton asked why a question he initiated wasn't included in the minutes before the council for approval.

The omission ignited an even bigger question for City Recorder Cassie Brown, who suggested the direction she has been given to provide a summary of action taken, not a verbatim account. That summary has included transcripts, only when she has specifically been directed to do so, she said.

Brown said she needed specific direction as to what the minutes should include to provide some consistency.

Mayor Jamie Nagle came to Brown's defense and said people who want every detail of a meeting can access the meetings online at the city's website via a video archive.

She said people could then judge for themselves on the tone of voice used or other wrinkles that make up part of the council process.

Brown also said digital recordings are available for people who request them as well.

The issue appears to have some political overtones since some residents have used social media and some websites that detail city issues to suggest meeting minutes have unfairly targeted Councilman Matt Kimmel at times.

The first term councilman was removed from the North Davis Sewer Board for a potential ethics violation this year and later in the year initiated a request for information from the city manager for salary information for employees at the Recreation Department and asked Rice not inform the mayor or other council members about the request.

The e-mail upset other council members and Mayor Jamie Nagle.

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