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Concerns about meeting minutes, in particular 5/21/2019 and the 8/20/2019 consent calendar to adopt 5/21 minutes

From: Soody Tronson (STLGip) <"Soody>
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2019 16:33:36 -0700

Dear Council -

I have voiced concerns several times about the lack of sufficient details in meeting minutes.

These concerns appear to be not of mine alone but by others as well. Here are two examples offered by Peter Edmond <http://ccin.menlopark.org/20466.html> and Ron Shepard <http://ccin.menlopark.org/20468.html>.

Now, reading again, the minutes of 5/21/2010 <https://www.menlopark.org/DocumentCenter/View/22537/G1---20190820-Minutes?bidId=> meeting under Item D, Public Comments, published as part of 8/20/2019 meeting agenda <https://www.menlopark.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_08202019-3318>, I read the 'summary' of my public comments as follows:

"Soody Tronson spoke on the Finance and Audit Committee charter and suggested additional changes and issues with meeting limitations."

My question to you is: Does anyone expect that a member of the public that was either not present at the meeting or sometime in the future reviews this sentence, can understand what it means or what was conveyed? What is meant by "issue" or "additional changes" or "meeting limitations."

I understand that minutes are not a word for word transcription of a meeting, but they are meant to convey at least some substance.

I respectfully submit, that these minutes provide no meaningful record of discussions.

In particular, since public comments are not presentations and there are no written records of these oral presentations, it is even more important that the minutes at least attempt to accurately record the comments.

I'm attaching my notes, used to deliver my oral comments, which the minutes reduced to one meaningless sentence. Although not word for word, the notes represent the issues and the specificity with which they were raised.

Whether anyone agreed with what was said is not the issue, rather, what was said.

I have also raised this issue with respect to minutes of committees. I requested that we have audio recordings of the committee meetings, something that is very easy to do. I was told, there was a process to follow to request this. I note that I have asked this several times but to no avail. At the Council meeting, in response to my request, a member of Council specifically stated that if FAC were to have these audio recordings, then other committees may want them too. My answer to the latter was/is let all the commission meetings have their audio recordings made public. In particular, when minutes do not adequately reflect discussions and decision, perhaps having these recordings are even more important.


Soody Tronson
Menlo Park Resident
Received on Tue Aug 20 2019 - 16:26:32 PDT

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