Unexpected Controversy?

My announced intention to cover neighborhood meetings (APNA & APHZAB) may have stirred up a controversy — or maybe not. I feel strongly that a community is strengthened by more communications, not less. So I was somewhat surprised by Jack’s post on the listserv which may represent a controversy — or it could be a  misunderstanding. I feel that Jack and I are both trying to preserve the character of our neighborhood and to improve it whenever we can. This is his post.

I would like to advise all Armory Park neighbors that the agendas and minutes of meetings held by the Armory Park Historic Zone Review Board (APHZAB) are posted on the official site of the City of Tucson, City Clerks Office, Boards and Commissions web site: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/clerks/boards?board=9 

The minutes of these meetings have potential legal and financial consequences for the property owners and the accurate transmission of this information is important. Third party reporting, such as the blog mentioned by Mr. Taylor, may or may not reflect the wording and context of the business discussed at these meetings. 

The APHZAB is, unlike the APNA, an official function of the City of Tucson and the conduct and public reporting of the APHZAB meetings is defined by “Open Meeting Law”. Please feel free to direct questions regarding the conduct and business of the APHZAB to either myself, or Bill Duffy (Secretary of the Board). 

Jack McLain
Chair, APHZAB 

My first reaction was that somehow I had unintentionally stepped on Jack’s toes. On reflection, I decided that the more likely possibility was a misunderstanding. We both feel that the APHZAB (see the glossary) is critical to preserving the historic character of our neighborhood. A group with such an important mission should be better known by our residents. Public exposure of the meetings via the city website and other means (this blog?) can only be a good thing. It might even encourage people to attend some meetings to become better informed about APHZAB. Generally, only board members and project applicants now attend. Jack correctly emphasized the importance of board compliance with the “Open Meeting Law” which requires advance notice of agendas and publication of minutes. This enables the public to participate in an informed way. Members of the public and media are free to attend Mayor and Council meetings as well as those of any city chartered body including APHZAB.

He also is right that any third party report may not reflect the official proceedings of the meeting. That is natural and appropriate. The minutes document official actions. A report written by an outside observer is likely to reflect the less official elements. Examples might include exciting new upgrades to our AP environment or proposals which may detract from the AP character. The minutes will document board action but not necessarily the flavor of the discussion.

Our neighbor, Paula, suggested that a link to the official city website be included on each post about an APHZAB meeting. That is an excellent suggestion which I will do. With each blog post, both ways of seeing the meeting will be readily available to those who may not be able to attend.

Frank discussions benefit Armory Park. Let’s have more of them.

Ken Taylor blog@kmtaylor.com

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