On Tuesday, the Brentwood City Council will discuss the idea of directing staff to read submitted public comments via email into the public comment.
The discussion comes at the request of councilwoman Susannah Meyer who stated during the December 15 meeting where she stated she wanted to increase inclusion, accessibility, and equity where they evaluate the live reading of public comments submitted by email.
“I know its not our current practice, but we should consider allowing for all comments to have equal value,” stated Meyer.
Currently, the council will only hear during the meeting public comments where people will call in. Emails submitted to the council are not read, but rather placed into the record and available to be read the next day by the public. Comments submitted via email, even when requested to be read into the record, are not read.
Brentwood has created a place on its website for the public to read—for example, here are the public comments from December 29, 2020 (104 pages)
The agenda item was requested after its been suggested that the council is unfairly weighing more heavily phone call public comments versus submitted emails. Meyer is hoping that if comments are read, everyone’s voice can be heard prior to council discussion and voting. The argument against reading public comments is it will increase the meeting time.
Other cities and school districts, such as the City of Antioch, have opted to read public comments into the record and when a large amount of comments are submitted, they are reduced from 3-minutes down to 1-minute readings.
Brentwood City Council Meeting
January 12, 2021
7:00 p.m. City Council Meeting
Attendee Meeting Link (to external WebEx site)
To participate via telephone: