The March 20 City Council meeting was dominated by citizens professing a lack of trust and confidence in the city government. Some ideas:
• Conduct city business on a city network. All commission, board and council members should have an auburnalabama.org email address.
• Change the format for council meetings to permit citizens an opportunity to provide input prior to final voting even if a public hearing isn't required. Often things come up that citizens should be permitted to comment on.
• Discontinue the "three-person" council meetings. Intentional or not, it appears an attempt to avoid the Sunshine Laws and operate outside of public scrutiny.
• Discontinue the Planning Commission's practice of limiting public comment.
• Make the Planning Commission members elected positions and/or limit the number that have developer, realtor or builder connections.
• Establish term limits for council and commission members.
• Council and commission members should recuse themselves anytime there is the appearance of a conflict not just a stated conflict.
• Train the council members on procedural processes.
• Establish oversight over the economic development office. Require them to present potential projects to the council and public during the Committee of the Whole. Not every project that generates tax income is good for Auburn.
• Announce applicants for various commission appointments instead of having one council member present his choice.
• Allow council members to interview candidates for key positions.
• Discontinue practice of mayor-only appointments.
• Only offer incentive packages for projects located in areas of town that are struggling. Auburn is a desirable locale and not every business needs taxpayer incentives to build here.
• Do not approve new projects prior to completion of traffic studies. After the fact does no good.
• Stick to commitments made; stand up for existing rules.
• Establish the mayor’s Architectural Task Force to influence downtown building designs. Make them aesthetically pleasing and in scale.
• Encourage the planning staff to interact with the public in terminology they understand. Treat citizens with courtesy and respect. Listen to the people.
• Start lining up candidates to replace current council.
Kelley Griswold, Auburn resident