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No Support for Lobbyists on Boards and Commissions; City Council and Zoning Meetings to Air on TV, Online
PHOENIX — Mayor Greg Stanton made two major announcements today regarding his agenda of making Phoenix City Government more transparent and open to the public.
First, Stanton announced to the Council that he will not support nominees for City boards and commissions whose primary job is working as a paid lobbyist – or nominees who work for lobbying firms – with clients who have business before any branch of government in Arizona. There may be exceptions when a person is registered as a lobbyist, but their principal job duty and their firm’s principle business activity is not lobbying.
“While there is certainly a role for lobbyists within the community, I believe it is critical that the public have full confidence that City decisions are made in the public’s interest, not a special interest,” Stanton said. Additionally, Stanton announced that City Council meetings will soon become more convenient to the public. The three prongs of Stanton’s proposal are: • After meeting with Council members one-on-one, Stanton proposed that Formal Meetings will begin at 5 p.m., and Recessed Zoning meetings will start immediately following Formal meetings, but no earlier than 6 p.m. The schedule changes will take effect in 30 days upon City Council approval. • Because the public is not always able to attend a meeting in person, Mayor Stanton has proposed providing basic filming of both Formal and Zoning meetings to be televised on Phoenix Channel 11 and made available on the city’s YouTube channel. The meetings are also streamed live on phoenix.gov. • Stanton will forego his monthly show on Phoenix Channel 11 to cover the projected expense. Mayor Stanton has also asked the City Manager to evaluate the expense of adding infrastructure to film City Council subcommittees. This analysis will be available next month and will be reviewed by the Public Safety, Veterans, Ethics and Transparency Subcommittee. “We can provide no greater service to our citizens than to transparently provide them access to their government,” Stanton said. “One area where we can enhance our services is to make our City Council meetings more convenient to the public.” Phoenix City Councilman Bill Gates added, “I support Mayor Stanton in ushering in a new era of openness and transparency. Along with the Mayor, I am also offering to forgo some Phoenix Channel 11 shows to help covers associated costs with televising more city meetings.”
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