(Pocatello for Accountable Government Entities, October 17, 2023)
PUBLIC COMMENT TO BE RESTORED TO POCATELLO CITY COUNCIL AGENDAS BEGINNING 10/19/2023!
Pocatello for Accountable Government Entities (P.A.G.E.) learned last night at the City Town Hall, that Mayor Blad was restoring public comment starting this coming Thursday evening at the regular 10/19/23 City Council meeting.
The decision to restore public comment is greatly appreciated. However, Mayor Blad lacks the authority to have single-handedly removed public comment without Council consent. Council members are the policymakers. Ultimately, the responsibility for depriving constituents of public comment for approximately 9 months lies not only with the mayor but also with incumbent Council members. At any time during the last 9 months, the Council had authority to reinstate public comment. They deliberately chose NOT to do so. If the Mayor and Council are serious about reinstating public comment, the Council needs to pass an Ordinance or Resolution that establishes public comment as a permanent part of all council agendas.
Further, we’d point out to the public that (in our opinion) the optics are very revealing of making such an announcement (reversing the public comment decision) just prior to an election in which two currently “appointed” incumbents (Nichols and Mangum) are running.