I have been alarmed for some time about the ease with which our Turlock City Council continually raises our rates. In my quest to account for which council members voted in favor of these increases, I navigated to the Turlock Web page. While the site clearly indicates that the "agenda-minutes" are available, only the council agenda outline is there; the minutes indicating how each council member votes are not available. However, the city commissions' minutes are there for easy review.
The city clerk's office informed me that council meeting minutes are only available via a public request form or inquiry. I did not inquire about the extra hurdle of a formal request or the listing inconsistencies, but I should have. The council's meeting minutes contain the attendance and voting records for our council members and should be available with the same ease and openness as the commissions' minutes. Otherwise, it leaves the alarming appearance that our council members prefer full disclosure only on a need to know basis via official request.
The Web site did offer some useful information for concerned citizens -- the terms of Councilman Kurt Vander Weide and Councilwoman Beverly Hatcher expire in 2008.