So, I called the office before 4pm to confirm the time and location, and was told the meeting had been CHANGED to last Monday, and it was "properly advertised".
However, there was NO mention of the time change on the Committee webpage, which is what I rely on, because I don't have time to scan newspaper ads EVERY DAY to read government legal notices. The public needs a more reliable method of meeting notices than the 50 year old, pre-internet method of newspaper notices (and you don't even know which paper).
However, one benefit of the canceled meeting is I had time to write this posting. Isn't that special?
Here is an email I just sent to the Lake County Board and County Manager. File it under "Lack of Transparency". This is not the first time this has happened, or the first time I have notified the County Manager and Board of this poor procedure:
To: Darren Gray, Lake County Commissioners
Today, once again, I find a committee meeting was changed without any notice on the Committee website page. In this case, it was the Tourism Development Council meeting, which I think included a lunch, and was apparently held last Monday instead of today. I found out when I called the TDC office today to confirm the time of TODAY’s expected 4pm meeting, AS POSTED on the Committee webpage. Then, Debi told me it was CHANGED (and I am sure it was legally advertised, which is not longer an acceptable excuse).
The current webpage, located HERE, for the TDC says only:
Meeting times: Quarterly on the third Wednesday of December, March, June and September at 4 p.m., or more as needed
Meeting location: Board of County Commission Chambers located on the second floor of the Lake County Administration Building, 315 W. Main St., Tavares
I tried to see if it was in the Calendar Events listing, but you cannot lookup prior dates.
I consider this to be inexcusable, and unprofessional to not post changes to Committee meetings in the most obvious place to look, which is the homepage for the relevant committee.
- Notify Committee support staff and relevant Directors to ALWAYS post meeting dates and changes on the webpage.
- Implement a “sign up” email system for taking emails of any interested people and notifying them of changes, agenda, minutes, etc.
- Stop using the excuse that “we advertised it” – that may be the legal requirement, but you need to appear more professional than that with the existence of webpages and email notice systems.
- Committee Minutes and links to audio files should be also posted to ALL Committee websites, similar to the main Board meeting agenda page.
I have established a Rangers meeting notice watchdog team, and I am now tracking these incidents and they will be given to any opponents of incumbent commissioners because I consider this lack of notice to be a lack of transparency and a possible attempt to hide meetings from the public and press.