(Pocatello for Accountable Government Entities, September 20, 2023)
257 days have passed since the last “public comment” agenda item appeared on the 01/05/23 agenda and was unilaterally removed by Mayor Blad from all future agendas.
Remember, in response to this decision, the Mayor promised quarterly town halls? Guess what? Only 1 poorly coordinated “Town Hall” (hardly resembling a town hall) occurred on March 28, 2023. To date, there’s been NO town hall in the 2nd Quarter and the 3rd Quarter only has 1.5 weeks left.
P.A.G.E. recently learned a town hall had been scheduled for September, but it was canceled due to a lack of quorum available. Understand this – that’s just an excuse—NOT a valid reason to cancel! A town hall does NOT require a quorum because it does not involve any Council deliberations or decisions.
The City Council members have the authority to overrule this decision and set policy for the City. Yet, NONE of them have publicly advocated to restore public comment.
Currently, City Council consists of Rick Cheatum, Linda Leeuwrik, Josh Mansfield, Scott Marchand, Brent Nichols and Corey Mangum (the last 3 are Blad’s unelected-appointees.)
Two of the appointed council members (Brent Nichols and Corey Mangum) are running for election in November. Ask them why they have been silent and not advocated for restoring public comment.
NOTE: We’ve been told one prevalent excuse circulating the community is that the decision was in response to “disruptions” taking place in Council meetings. That’s a fabricated excuse. Ask for the links to the 2022 videos showing disruptions – they don’t exist.