Quick Note on Tuesday’s Council Meeting
On Tuesday your city council will convene for a work session and regular meeting.
- You can review the agenda for these two meetings by clicking HERE.
- All work sessions can be streamed live online HERE.
- Regular council meetings are broadcast live by DTV on local cable and streamed live online
Drop the Mic? The Future of Open Mic at Council Meetings
Among the items on the Tuesday night agenda for council consideration and action is a consent agenda item which would remove the 4 four-minute “open mic” slots which are available for citizens to address council at the beginning of each council meeting. During this time citizens can speak on the record on any topic so long as it is not an item on that night’s agenda, and so long as citizens follow the rules for decorum. We rarely see all 4 “open mic” slots filled, so in my opinion these sixteen minutes are not burdensome on council procedures. While citizens do have the opportunity to register with the city secretary by no later than the previous Thursday to speak in advance of a council meeting and potentially be placed on the agenda, this “open mic” provides an outlet for citizens to go on the record and shine a light on concerns, opportunities, issues, and brags within the community which may have arisen too recently to otherwise be included on the agenda for that night.
But most importantly, when council chose to put the “open mic” slots in place we did a good thing. We created the opportunity for increased citizen participation in government and we expanded a platform for free speech. In my mind it is a dangerous thing to reel back increased citizen participation and expansion of free speech once they are put into place. For this reason I will be asking for this item to be removed from tomorrow night’s consent agenda and to have it placed as an item for individual consideration and vote by council. This move will allow both council and the public to discuss the item together in advance of any council vote or action.
Acquiring Land for the Denton Energy Center
The other item of note is a vote to authorize the acting city manager to enter into negotiations or exercise eminent domain to acquire 117+ acres of land, which has recently been appraised at $2.9 million. This land is located along Jim Christal Road west of the Denton Municipal Airport and will serve as the grounds for the Denton Energy Center. The Denton Energy Center will be comprised of 12 natural gas burning engines for the purpose of generating electricity.
Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas at any time.
In your service,
Keely G. Briggs
Council Member District 2
City of Denton, Texas