Sunshine the Best Disinfectant
by Geoff Kelly - posted 3:17 pm, June 1, 2009
Got this press release today from the Common Council, concerning a resolution demanding more transparency from the city’s semi-autonomous agencies and boards:
Council Members Kearns and LoCurto and their co-sponsors, Council Members Rivera, Fontana, and Franczyk, are introducing two resolutions for consideration by the Full Common Council, that would increase the transparency of operations of all City Boards, Agencies and Authorities codified in the City of Buffalo Charter and Code as well as any Not-for-Profit organization receiving city taxpayer dollars.
These resolutions would impose new requirements on entities, many of which yield considerable power and have been criticized and referred to as “shadow governments”, to provide city officials and taxpayers with the opportunity to gain greater insight into their operations.
In the first resolution, the governing bodies all City Boards, Agencies and Authorities, are being called upon to hold their meetings in Council Chambers and utilize existing recording equipment and allow for meetings playback on the City’s CATV government channel, for viewing by individuals who are unable to attend such meetings. This would also enable meetings to be held in a geographically centralized, uniform location that is well serviced by public transportation and which nearly all Buffalonian’s are familiar with.
The second Resolution directs the Acting Corporation Counsel to prepare a Local Law requiring that all Not-for-Profit organizations that contract with the City and receive taxpayer dollars to file on an on-going basis with the City Clerk, their meeting schedules, by-laws/rules of operation, the composition and membership of their governing boards, approved minutes of meetings, and any report, study, review and audit, financial or otherwise, prepared by, performed on or for, the respective organization.