San Antonio Adopts Principles for Public Participation
The San Antonio City Council approved 10 guiding principles Thursday intended to help increase civic engagement at public meetings, which will now be implemented at each community forum.
Among the list of principles are meaningful, transparent, respectful, inclusive, accessible, informative, responsive, timely, convenient and continuous.
But before the guidelines could be clearly defined, Jeff Coyle, the director of the Government and Public Affairs Department, said one of their first tasks was to define what they mean by public participation.
“We’re not talking about, in this context, pushing information,” Coyle said. “We’re talking about seeking information from those who we serve, and best utilizing that in our services.”
READ | Public Participation Summary of Recommendations
The guiding principles are from a consideration request filed last year by District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval, who said everyone who is affected by a decision that council makes should have the opportunity to voice their input on that decision.
“If we don’t take that input then we risk not having that information on hand and not seeing perhaps some adverse consequences that we could have accounted for in developing that policy,” she said.
Lauren Terrazas can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @terrazas_lauren