Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Public Notice Problems: Alaska Redistricting Board Is, Isn't, Is Meeting Today

Last Friday the Redistricting Board set a tentative schedule - they emphasized flexibility based on the Board's availability - that had them start having work meetings today, Wednesday, June 12, to draw up the new redistricting plan. 

But I got an email after the meeting from the Redistricting Board's automatic notices that said: 
"The Alaska Redistricting Board today voted unanimously to solicit public input and approve a schedule to work toward the adoption of a new Hickel Plan. 
During the time period of June 13 to June 20, Board members and staff will hold daily work sessions at the Alaska Redistricting Office (411 W. 4th Avenue, Suite 302, Anchorage, AK 99501). The purpose of the work sessions will be to create draft Hickel Plans for the Board to consider, in accordance with the recent Superior Court directive.   
The Board's web calendar (available at will be updated no later than June 13 to reflect the schedule of work sessions, Board meetings, public hearings, and submission deadlines outlined above. "
OK, so I thought I should find out what time the meeting would be tomorrow, since there were no times on the email and their website main page says:

"June 7 Meeting Reminder

June 6, 2013
Posted by Redistricting Board Staff
The Alaska Redistricting Board will meet via teleconference at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 7, 2013. The purpose of the meeting is to receive a report on legal issues and discuss a schedule for future Board work sessions and meetings."

 So I called the Board and found out the meeting had started today at 9:20am.  It was scheduled to begin at 9am but Member Holm had trouble getting there on time from the airport.  They are apparently introducing the GIS people.  I have something else scheduled today so I'm going to miss this. 

Now that I'm checking more thoroughly, the calendar, does show a meeting today starting at 9am. This has not been the way I've followed when the meetings would be over the last few years.  In the past, the main page generally (emphasis on generally) was where I could find the details of the next meetings. 

I think it's pretty clear that the Board is suffering from not having an Executive Director who takes care of all these issues, like keeping the public informed about the meetings and keeping the website current.  They chose not to hire anyone for the position after it became clear their apparently pre-selected candidate proved to be vastly out qualified by another candidate when they were forced to make the candidate's names and resumes public at the last minute by the Anchorage Daily News.

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