NEW ALBANY — The New Albany City Council voted 6-3 against a resolution that would recommend for the New Albany Redevelopment Commission to post meeting agendas online and on social media.

The resolution was presented to the council on Nov. 18 by council member Josh Turner with the goal of adding transparency to government meetings.

State statute only requires that meeting agendas be printed out and hung outside of the meeting room before the meeting. The resolution was asking for agendas to be posted on the city’s social media pages and website in addition to being posted in city hall.

Council member Jason Applegate, who is also a member of the redevelopment commission, was one of the six who voted against the resolution.

Had it been approved, the resolution would have acted as a recommendation for the redevelopment commission to post the agendas. The commission does not post on social media, meaning it would then have to ask the communications department to publish the agendas, according to Applegate, which he said was fairly nonsensical.

“I believe in transparency, and we do have that within redevelopment and all of our other boards,” Applegate said.

Applegate pointed out that citizens who do not want to go to city hall to see the agenda are able to be added to the department’s email list and receive the agenda through that channel. For him, the resolution seemed to be less about transparency within the government and more of an act of convenience.

While Applegate did not think the resolution was necessary, he did say that it might be beneficial to have a central page on the city’s website that posts all of the boards’ agendas and minutes in one location.

Turner said that while some people might think the council should not dictate how other boards function, he thinks it is the responsibility of the elected body to provide the input of the citizens.

Council member Scott Blair voted for the resolution, and while he said that he has not necessarily heard the request from residents in his district, he thinks it is the responsibility of elected officials to make things as convenient and easy as possible for the public.

“Anytime we can provide information or let the public know what’s going on, we should go beyond what’s required of us,” Blair said.

The resolution was specifically directed at the redevelopment commission because the board is responsible for spending money, according to Turner.

“This isn’t something where it’s operational, where you’re just saying we do it this way and have public input, this is how dollars are being spent. Anytime you spend money the public should have the opportunity to be involved and at least know,” Turner said. “It ’s ver y disappointing as an elected representative of the people to see other elected representatives choose to not be more transparent and give the people that voted them in office an opportunity to see what’s going on,” he said.

Council member Al Knable was the third vote for the resolution, the rest of the council voted against it.
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