This morning news service researchers circulated a study of public meetings in Contra Costa County that provided clear evidence that government decisions are fully documented and decided before such meetings. Using many examples including recent redistricting of the county, researchers' discovery of documentation repeatedly defined decisions brought to public meetings for "rubber stamp" approvals.
As part of a feature on how to engage and communicate with governments, news service researchers pointed to the need by residents, neighborhoods and communities to gain direct meetings with their elected officials very early in consideration of issues to insure that their interests and positions are considered in the final decisions brought to public meetings for approval. "If it is on a public meeting agenda it is too late to change the decision."
As you consider publication of a story on this decision process, you might define how this contrasts with various public meeting laws and requirements. "Is the public served when public government meetings only exist for public approval of already-made decisions?"
As a CDSI Research courtesy to media editors
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