More on Minutes
Dear Editor: In the recent issue of the Gabber, in an article [“Devil’s in the Details,” May 6, 2021] describing my quest to correct an error of context in the city council minutes, Mayor Henderson stated: “I do not want to set a precedent for ongoing editorializing of minutes based on personal subjective bias or someone’s desire to prove a point.”
Allow me to clarify:
1. The role of the city council is to “adopt” the city council meeting minutes. Presumably, the city council would “adopt” minutes that are correct in context. While the city clerk’s office does a great job, they are human and can certainly make an error. Correcting an obvious error of context is NOT editorializing.
2. My request for correction is the first I have ever made in all the years that I have attended and paid attention to council meetings. If I wanted to make corrections for the purpose of making a point, I surely would have made many more such requests.
3. My request was void of any nefarious intentions and I absolutely had no intention of “trying to prove a point” or engage in “personal bias.”
4. My concern was based on the fact that the charter is the tool that sets the foundation for the operation of the government of the City of Gulfport. If a city official doesn’t understand a portion of that document, how can one expect the residents/taxpayers to understand it? And by the way, the phrase in the charter is not written very clearly, and as such, the official’s misunderstanding is understandable. Bottom line: the charter defines how our government should function.
5. The minutes are the permanent legislative history of Gulfport. Why would anybody want to purposely put incorrect information into the historic annals of the City of Gulfport?
6. Last but not least, the city’s own attorney said the minutes are incorrect in context. He said this not once but twice. Mayor Henderson can make whatever accusations he wants to make against me. However, why in the world would he want to discredit the city’s own attorney, who clearly stated that the meeting minutes of 10/1/2019 did not accurately reflect his legal opinion. If the mayor and city council don’t wish to accept/reflect the city attorney’s opinion in correct context, and reflect such in the city’s legislative history, then why hire him and spend tax payer money to pay him? – M. Tober
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