Saturday, August 16, 2014

City to Pursue Citizen Engagement

Item 20 on this Thursday's City Council meeting is a discussion of new citizen engagement initiatives, including COSA University.  Recent city council meetings have had ample citizen engagement.  Crowds gathered to be heard on awarding the city's trash and landfill franchises, as well as several development projects. 

City Council acted counter to recent public input.  I assume that's why citizens need education at COSA University.  It's sad when an organization with an award winning website, its own television station and an aggressive image management department can't have its messages understood by the public.  People are smart enough to recognize public intimidation isn't public service.

I expect COSA University's public library to be rather sparse, after it ditched its former website rich with historical documents.  Institutional memory isn't what it used to be.  I do hope COSA University offers an ethics class.

We'll see what citizen engagement occurs at upcoming city council meetings.  I expect future crowds to provide feedback on soaring commercial trash/landfill bills and to weigh in on retiree/employee health insurance rates when they return to the agenda for action.  Stay engaged citizens!

Update 8-17-14:  City Manager Daniel Valenzuela spoke on this subject during his State of the City speech.  "COSA University will be a citizens academy that we hope will spark interest in serving on City boards and commissions. If you’re already interested, applications are available at"  I know three people who applied for the Animal Services Board, all active, responsible leaders in local animal service organizations.  None ever heard back from the city, even as the board had two open positions for many months.

1 comment:

Jim Turner said...

Seems to me that COSA University is likely just a makeover on the Leadership San Angelo program. I'm sure it will end up as educational as a late night infomercial.

Time to put together a real, independent school of government and freedom.