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Coming soon: friendly advice agendas

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Bill Barnhardt, City Hall is listening.

Less than 12 hours after the Del Webb resident made suggestions to rework council meeting agendas to help the public better navigate city government, acting city manager Toni Lundgren said that staff were already working to put their ideas into place.

His suggestion to group related agenda items together so that someone interested in a particular topic can easily identify them will be in place by the June 21 meeting.

And that’s not the only effort the city is making to help the people it serves better understand local government.

Lundgren said staff also wanted to see if they could change the water usage shown on the city’s monthly utility bills from being shown in hundreds of cubic feet rounded to the nearest hundred and to show instead the exact gallons used.

This way, residential water users who use gallons to measure water in daily life will have a less abstract concept of the water they consume. It would also help them have a baseline in efforts to adjust water use during drought.

And based on a social media post by a Manteca resident about a water bill story, staff will explore to see if current billing software for water usage would allow comparisons of year-over-year based on the most recent month instead of listing month-to-month usage in the last 12 months.

The resident pointed out that a comparison of May 2021 to May 2022 would give them an idea if they need to work on reducing outdoor watering which tends to spike in the warmer months.
It’s all part of a commitment the city’s leadership team has made to improve communication and transparency in an easy-to-understand way instead of getting bogged down in what some call a bureaucratic mess.

In the case of the city’s agenda, Lundgren noted that it’s long overdue for an update.
Director of Legislative Services/City Clerk Cassandra Candini-Tilton and her staff are reworking the “last pages” of the agenda that has been in place for years to see if it can be streamlined.

The plan for the future is to group items under the consent and action segments of the agenda by department. This sounds a lot like what the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors does with its agendas.

Barnhardt, making his remarks during the public comment section of Tuesday’s council meeting, said the fact that related items are not grouped together may lead some to believe the city is trying to hide something or is less than stellar in his efforts to do so. easy for people to follow the actions of the city.

He highlighted the McKinley Avenue interchange project which has three separate items on the agenda. Instead of being lumped together, they were scattered across the agenda.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email [email protected]