(UNEDITED)Citizens of Bell, California recently read in the Los Angeles newspapers that their city government has been ripping them off. The Chief Administrative Officer was earning an annual salary of $787,637 and council members were receiving almost $100,000 for part-time work. Naturally, the people of Bell were outraged and demanded resignations. It's hard to believe that Bell citizens let this go on for so long. Would you call it apathy or lack of information about their city government? I don't know the answer to that, but I do know one city in Utah that is trying an innovative idea to inform their citizens about the issues facing their community. Syracuse city has set aside one of their two bi-monthly meetings as a working-session. The public is encouraged to attend these meetings and are allowed to voice their opinions concerning issues being discussed by council members and the mayor. This experiment will be carried out over a six month period to see if the public will get more involved in their city government. Without the public's participation and information about their own city government, situations, much like that of Bell, California, become a much greater possibility.
Bob Van Velkinburgh