Change is in the Air
By Tommy Smigiel
With the arrival of spring in the next few weeks, Norfolk’s new city manager has already started some spring cleaning. The addition of Marcus Jones to city hall has added a new and refreshing approach to the way business is conducted. In the few short weeks he has been on the job, Marcus has made some significant changes with some department heads, modified council work sessions so that important information is presented a week in advance, and has added new ways to include citizens in the budget process. Also check out the city’s updated web site. And he’s not done.
During Tuesday’s council work session (which starts at 5:00pm), his office will be making recommendations for changing the process of council meetings. Rumors have been circulating that televising informal meetings will be part of the proposal. This would save our friends at altdaily.com some time. In addition, I have heard that council will be moving to less formal meetings per month, with the additional time being used for informal work sessions. There will be no complaints from me.
Since joining city council, I have advocated for both of these changes. I would be even happier to see some of these items in the presentation as well:
- Televising all city council subcommittee meetings.
- Posting the presentations shown to city council on the city’s web site.
- Allowing the public comment section of formal meetings to be televised.
- Reformatting the selection process of our boards, commission and authorities.
- Posting the budget on the city’s web site – updated weekly as income and expenses occur.
Okay, wishful thinking on some of these items. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I appreciate the changes Marcus is making and as I continue on council I will slowly advocate for those additional items.
I hope to see you at the last community conversation on this year’s budget. It will be this Thursday, March 10th at 6:00pm. The location is Maury High School.