Farmington Hills to put council agenda packets online

Farmington Hills officials agreed Monday to post council agenda packets on the city’s website, but the timing raised some concerns.

As things stand, only meeting agendas go online, typically on Friday before a Monday meeting. Residents can request a copy of the packet–minus any privileged information–via email.

The often large PDFs contain detailed information, including staff memos, meeting minutes, site plans, budget documents, and more.

Council first?

Mayor Vicki Barnett asked her colleagues to consider making the information more widely available, based on a resident’s request.

Council member Valerie Knol asked about posting the documents on Monday.

“If (residents) start calling on Friday when we get our packets, it’s hard to respond,” she said. “A lot of times we don’t even get it until the weekend.”

Council member Ken Massey agreed. He said residents who find an item of interest on the Friday agenda can look for more information on Monday.

“I don’t think they’ll be looking at the whole agenda,” he said.

“I like the idea, but I would like to give council first crack at it,” Barnett said. “I think we should start with getting our council packets on Friday and posting the packets on Monday.”

Beyond OMA requirements

City attorney Steve Joppich suggested including the new action with council meeting guidelines and procedures. He said it goes beyond public notice and Open Meetings Act requirements.

“When we bring this back, so that there’s no misperception that we’re providing added due process or added notice requirements, I would recommend the language be clear that this is just for transparency purposes,” he said.

Council members expect to see this item again on June 28. Posting would start in July.

Watch the discussion:

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