Striving toward openness, Trafford Council revamps committees
Trafford Council is reworking a couple of committees to make sure they're open to the public and free of conflicts of interest.
In recent weeks, officials have been forming committees to oversee management of the Manchester Room rental site and a redesign of the borough's website.
After a discussion at their May 6 meeting, council members decided not to include any business owners who could benefit financially from any room rentals or a revamping of the website.
As for public participation, some council members want borough officials to make sure residents know that committee meetings are happening.
The discussion stemmed, in part, from a review of an April 23 committee meeting about the possible installation of window dressings in the Manchester Room — a banquet room in the borough building — to block the sun from shining too much light in the room or making it too hot.
Councilman John Daykon complained that he hadn't received previous notice of the meeting. He also said he hadn't been notified that council President Rich Laird created the committee.
Borough Solicitor Craig Alexander downplayed Daykon's accusation that the committee violated the state's open-meeting law. Alexander said the meeting was legal because the attendance of two council members; Mayor Rey Peduzzi; Peduzzi's wife, Bibiana; borough manager Jeff McLaughlin; and a business owner did not represent a quorum.
Nonetheless, Daykon said, borough officials went through too much with the controversial construction of the $2.6-million public-safety building to hold a committee meeting about the Manchester Room without advertising it.
The meetings of the former committee concerning the public-safety building was closed to residents and reporters for more than a year until a new regime took over Trafford Council in March 2012.
Those meetings then were opened to the public, with Peduzzi as chairman.
“It's a taxpayer-funded room,” Daykon said. “(Committee meetings) should be open to the public.”
Peduzzi reacted to Daykon's comments by withdrawing himself and his wife from the Manchester Room committee.
“You can take my name off,” Peduzzi said. “I don't want any part of the committee, and neither does Bib.”
Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.