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Off-site Meetings are Problematic

Why is the MSB Assembly holding a “Planning” Meeting at Turkey Red (in the restaurant’s small conference room) instead of at their Chambers which is located just down the street at the main MSB Building?

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turkey red

(This was originally posted on the Facebook group “Borough Budget Watch.”)


Eugene Haberman has alerted me to the problem of the MSB Assembly holding off site meetings. Mr. Haberman thinks this practice should STOP because public meetings need to be accessible and they should always be video-recorded.

When the MSB Assembly holds meetings off site, the meetings are not recorded properly. There is no video and often, there isn’t even any audio. Also, they are sometimes held at unusual times.

That is the point – says Mr. Haberman! “Out of sight; out of mind.” He thinks perhaps the MSB Assembly holds these odd meetings from time to time to discourage the public from attending or being able to watch or listen to the meeting later.

The MSB Assembly is holding a “planning meeting” on Saturday Jan 19th at 10 a.m. at the Turkey Red restaurant conference room.

Why doesn’t the Assembly hold this meeting at their own Assembly chambers where the Granicus video/audio recording system is located? Also, there is more parking and seating for the public at the main MSB building. The Turkey Red conference room is very small.

Additionally, with a Saturday meeting, are we paying staff members overtime?

Also, this past week, there was a joint Legislative/Assembly meeting held over at the LIO office in Wasilla. (10 a.m. Jan 3rd.) Mr. Haberman said the room was very small – too small for the crowd assembled – AND to his knowledge, it was not recorded. This was a shame because a lot of important information was shared and many important comments were made by the attendees.

Why wasn’t that meeting held at the Assembly chambers too and live streamed?

Here are more examples of  recent “Off-site” meetings for which the MSB does not post any audio or video on their website.

The LIO meeting in Wasilla, a Budget meeting in Willow, and a general meeting in Talkeetna.

lio meetingwillowtalkeetna

If the public wants to listen to these meetings, they have to do a “public records request” to get the audio.

Note: However, the Talkeetna meeting’s audio was “garbled” and thus not available at all.