Alameda City Council subcommittee members, Lena Tam and Rob Bonta, will host two community workshops to obtain input on strengthening public participation and access in the City decision making process.
The workshops will be held March 13 at 7 p.m. in the conference room and on March 24 at 10 a.m. at the teen room.
Last fall, the Alameda City Council directed staff to create a first-ever Public Participation Policy that ensures meaningful public input is gathered as part of the city’s policy decision making process. At the same meeting, the council appointed a subcommittee to meet with the community and develop a plan to restructure Alameda’s boards and commissions to better address public decision-making while reducing staffing needs.
Alameda has 18 boards and commissions, many of which currently meet monthly. In response to Alameda city staff’s request to reduce the number of meetings of these public bodies, the City Council asked for a full review of their current processes and structure.
In January, the City Council asked council members Bonta and Tam to develop a recommendation for changes to the number of commissions and members, as well as recommendations on increasing the effectiveness of the communications from these bodies to ensure that volunteer member, and staff time, is being effectively used.
The purpose of this month's workshops is to gather ideas from the community about ways to strengthen and realign the current commission structure, and to help in the development of a public participation policy that will preserve the ability for Alamedans to provide meaningful input on key decisions being made in the City and reduce the workload of Alameda's decreased staff.
After hearing from the community at the first meeting on March 13, the subcommittee plans to release an initial draft of both the public participation policy and commission structural realignment for discussion at the March 24 workshop.
The final proposal will be sent to the full City Council for discussion and approval on April 17.