Sailboat Bay

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Village Council should return to City Hall

I had a chat with Commissioner Ken Russell about getting the Coconut Grove Village Council back in City Hall and broadcast on cable tv. Back in November of 2009, the Village Council was thrown out of City Hall after meeting there for so many years. Someone felt that they should not have free speech and be seen or heard on tv. They could meet, but they could not be broadcast out into tv land.

Others felt that since there was an election coming up, opponents getting any air time was a bad thing. One evening everything was set for their usual meeting and out of nowhere,  the plug was pulled by the City Manager because they did not want election talk to be broadcast on tv, is that a case of killing the first amendment or what? They could talk at the meetings, but not on tv.

I spoke with the mayor back then, who apparently lied to me at the time, claiming that he knew nothing about the Village Council being thrown out and then later claimed that there was a new policy, where different neighborhood groups and condos could have the meeting chamber once a year and the Village Council would have to give up the time and space for that. When was the policy voted on and decided upon?

Of course in seven years, not one neighborhood group or condo took up the space offered them as I doubt they want their dirty laundry and private business blasted all over cable tv. And what is the point of having them use the chamber once a year when most meet monthly?

So now it stands that the Village Council can return to City Hall, encouraged by Ken Russell, but the only open spot for them is Friday evening, which most members of the council are loathed to commit to. I can understand that, it's the end of the week, work is over, the weekend is starting, but first, let's have a meeting and hope that people watch it on tv on a Friday night. Not really prime time, is it?

But Ken thinks it is worth a try to see how the council takes to it. So they may eventually get back into City Hall where they belong. I say they belong there because City Hall is on Coconut Grove land, and just out of pure courtesy, the council should be part of the City Hall picture. I'm also thrilled to know that City Hall is broadcast on ATT Uverse cable finally. It had previously only been on Channel 77 on Comcast. But there is a menu item on the ATT cable that allows local city channels to be seen. So this will bring more viewers.

An advantage to being in City Hall and on tv is that the meetings are rebroadcast throughout the month, so the meetings can be seen live and/or seen at another time when more convenient for citizens. More people can get involved this way when they know what is going on in the village.

Now it's up to the Village Council to decide what to do. The Friday door is open. They will have this discussion at tonight's Village Council meeting.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


And Village Council elected members should start intensive lobbying on behalf of Coconut Grove residents to get the city to treat us fairly according to our taxes and historic significance.

By the way is someone going to start a petition to get Arva Moore Parks on the Historic Preservation Board?

July 20, 2016 1:59 PM  
Blogger Grove Mom said...

Wait... What?? Arva Moore Parks is not on the Historic Preservation board? Did I read that wrong?

July 21, 2016 11:02 AM  

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