Councilman and citizen blogger John Statler has fellow members of the Medford City Council on the defensive after posting to a personal blog that Medford City Council decisions are made in secret, in violation open meeting laws.
In September, Statler wrote to http://www.systemsolver.com/StatlerBlog/
On March 2 there were two motions made related to the City Manager’s position. Both moitions took more than 5 months to be revisited by this council. One is still waiting. There is some reason for this and I think the reason comes perilously close to violating the intent of the open meetings laws of Oregon.
There are a variety of reasons why these motions might have taken so long to come back before council.
The City Manager has purposely ignored the direction of council and thus violated his highest ethical duty.
The City Council has a majority of Council members who meet outside of the public arena and make decisions and give direction to the City Manager also in a way that is outside of public arena.
The City Manager and his staff have exhibited a significant level of incompetence in tracking the direction given by Council in a public arena.
Or the council does not fully understand the intent of the open meeting laws.
I’m trying to say, I’m trying get some answers to explain this behavior.
“I think Mr. Statler needs to be accountable, as all the rest of us are, for the things he says,” said Councilman Bob Strosser, who denied the accusations.Statler responds,
Well, we certainly have different views on the matter. As I understand the open meeting laws of Oregon not only are decisions to be made in public but also the discussion leading to those decisions. It may be okay to talk off the public record but if any of that talk led to a certain decision I think every effort should be made to have that talk revisited during a public meeting. I’m open to a real discussion on the matter, however, especially from experts in the field. Mostly I take laws at face value.
Now the story is getting national attention.
My accidentally published article got lots of attention. The Mail Tribune published the article, it got discussed in the Mail Tribune’s Forum pages, and I got my first Technorati Tag…my blog got blogged.
“These blog things just go everywhere” — Ridenbaugh Press
Mail Tribune article — December 14, 2006