Osceola County government officials say they want to get better at avoiding last-minute “walk on” public meeting items and post agendas earlier for residents to review.
As it stands now, some agendas aren’t posted until end of business Friday and meetings occur Monday, leaving residents little time to see what upcoming items may impact them.
County Commission Chair Cheryl Grieb said she was curious how Orange and Seminole counties can provide agendas a week in advance.
“Well, it turns out they only have meetings twice a month,” Grieb said at the commission board meeting Monday.
Osceola County, on the other hand, hosts three regular meetings a month.
Grieb said she wants the county manager to explore that option in hopes of making agendas available sooner, along with possible staff and operational cost savings. The county manager would be given a hard date after which no further items could be added.
There would still be an afternoon and an evening meeting to allow residents with different work schedules a chance to attend, Grieb said.
“I think we could be more streamlined that way,” she said.
Fellow board members– including Fred Hawkins Jr., Peggy Choudhry and Viviana Janer – supported the idea of giving residents more time to review upcoming items, but also raised concerns about limiting public input with fewer meetings.
“I am concerned about cutting out that extra meeting,” Janer said. “I feel like it’s taking away opportunities, perhaps, from the citizens…So, I would like to see how that looks.”
Grieb said the idea is just a proposal and may undergo a test-run to see how well it works.
“The whole idea is to get the information out sooner to the residents,” Grieb said. “That way they have enough time to look at it in advance.”
The county manager is now tasked with exploring this option.