Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Communication Keeps Getting Worse

This blog is being posted late today for one simple reason. The agenda for tonight's council meeting wasn't available on Norristown.org until about 9:30 this morning, only 10 hours before the meeting is set to begin.

I don't know what's going on with the calendar on the website, but for more than a month, things that need to be posted -- council agendas, zoning and planning meetings and agendas -- aren't showing up until the very last minute, often on the day the event is supposed to take place.

I've noticed that other events aren't being posted either. Over a week ago, I submitted a notice for the Christmas event at Selma Mansion and it still hasn't shown up. I resubmitted it this morning. I can only assume that if one person has the job of updating the calendar, that person either isn't working for the borough anymore, or he/she has been given so much other work that the calendar is no longer considered to be a priority.

But it IS a priority. I know residents use the calendar because, for the last event at Selma, I asked people who came how they heard about the event. Many saw it on the town calendar.

I know I use the calendar each week to check for meetings and agendas. Other residents have told me the same.

What's on tonight's agenda? First, an "Executive Session Announcement." That could mean anything from the fate of our financial director to anything I've already read about on Facebook, like the tree lighting at the zoo this weekend. These "Executive Session Announcement" listings on the agenda need a bit more description, so residents know if it's worth their time to go to the meeting.

Also on the agenda, a motion to introduce the proposed budget ordinance for 2014. The ordinance is NOT available for taxpayers to review before the meeting.

J.P. Mascaro's trash hauling contract is up for extension. There's no motion associated with it, but the word "discussion" is written next to it.

There's a motion to lease purchase 3 new police cars. I hope that means more police presence on the streets.

And there's a motion to introduce an ordinance to adopt the 2012 International Property Maintenance Code. This, I think, is to follow standards for property maintenance used around America. You can read it here, but it's long. You probably won't have enough time before the meeting.

I can't make the meeting tonight, but would someone who goes please ask council to fix the problem with the calendar postings being so late? And ask that they post ordinances in advance of the meetings so we can be informed when asked to give public comment.

Then again, "Public Comment" ISN'T listed on this agenda. I guess that shows what they think of our opinions.


  1. The Norristown Project is working on creating a collaboration tool that will allow organizations to post their events on a community calendar effortlessly! I'll keep you posted. I posted info about the MLK Day events and they're no where to be found.

  2. This is sorely needed for our organizations. Thanks, Shae and The Norristown Project! But it still doesn't address the issue of late-posted agendas and things like ordinances.

    1. That requires some hard work from residents lighting a fire under council. Unfortunately, TNP can't do that. I wish. But I do agree with the agenda issue. Conshy already has their agenda for January and publicized on Times Herald. Norristown, nothing.