La Grande city leaders recently posted in the newspaper and on Facebook a link to a property tax increase legislative proposal the council voted to support in July. The link was posted alongside a statement saying, "The council is open to receiving citizen input on any issue. Interested parties may do so by calling the city manager's office or by emailing councilors through the city website. We appreciate your thoughts!"

The fact that city leaders waited until September to publicize a link to legislative proposals they voted to support in July reinforces the need for transparency. Full council meeting materials have not been posted on the city website since June 2018, and the one-page July agenda did not include a link to the property tax increase legislative proposal. Had the city proactively informed the community that supporting a property tax increase legislative proposal was on the agenda, there would be no transparency issue here.

This is an opportunity to address shortcomings, and the council should respond to dissatisfaction over the process by directing city staff to post meeting materials online. Citizens cannot provide informed input on municipal issues without access to the same meeting materials the council possesses.

Alex McHaddad

La Grande

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