Wednesday, May 13, 2009

City Hall's Idea of "Public Participation"

The City is holding a program on Sustainable Development Thursday, May 14 at 10 A.M. It will cover the pattern of much of how Virginia Beach is to be developed and redeveloped in the future.

The hitch? The letter for "Public Participation" was e-mailed out by City Hall on Tuesday, May 12 at 1:29 P.M. They expect people to make a weekday morning meeting on under 45 hours notice?

If you look at the e-mail addresses on the mailing (it was open copied), most are land development interests. So the developers can get out of what they were doing for something so crucial to their business, while non-industry residents probably won't be able to make it on such short notice. In turn, the City gets exactly the "public input" they wanted.

It reminds me of the 2007 Community Legislative Package meeting fiasco. Invitation letters to that meeting were snail mailed out so late that many didn't hit mailboxes until after the meeting. In that case, the City held a second meeting with proper notice. Do they do so this time?


William Bailey said...

Are you really surprised by this activity? You know better. It is by design in everything they do at city hall...

Jessica Blaine said...

I'm not

Avenging Archangel said...


I'm not surprised. I posted to call them on it.

Reid Greenmun said...

Finding common ground:

Great point Henry! This type of fake "public" input process goes on all the time in the circles of "government" lead "citizen input".

Unknown said...

It's as predictable as the comments are by the people that usually show up for public hearings.

Robert will give a speech so long and boring that he'll send up a female cohort to finish reading it for him (VBTA values women, ya know).

Reid will say "hold a referendum" and Bob O'Connor will talk about telecommuting and oceanfront projects. A few people will talk about the development authority and debt. And wherever the conversation leads, Henry will want a bus to take him back.

Maybe if the public hearings weren't so predictable, people would be more interested and exciting about having them.

Avenging Archangel said...


Regardless of how interesting and exciting meetings may be, only a select few will be there if they're held on weekday mornings with only 44 1/2 hours notice.