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Council votes against airing Audit Committee meetings

March 22, 2012

The Glendale City Council this week voted against televising the meetings of a committee appointed to audit city operations, maintaining the commission’s distinction as the only one without a regular spot on GTV6.

Although Audit Committee members said taping and airing the meetings would increase transparency, several council members said there wasn’t a need to do so. Additionally, council members weren’t willing to spend the $800 a year it would cost to run the meeting on Glendale’s government access channel.

The vote was 3-2 against airing the meetings.

“I just don’t see any issues with the openness or transparency,” said Councilman Ara Najarian. “In my seven years on council, I don’t think, at any point, has anyone said, ‘Gee, I’d really like to see what that Audit Committee is doing. Why don’t you televise them?’”

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Councilman Dave Weaver echoed those sentiments, adding that only one person tends to show up to the quarterly 8 a.m. Monday meetings.

There “does not seem to be a lot of interest,” he said.

However, Councilman Rafi Manoukian said the increased transparency could spur more interest in the meetings, which typically highlight critiques of internal operations and recommendations to eliminate department inefficiencies.

“I’m certainly in favor of open government and transparency, regardless of how many people show up at the meetings,” Manoukian said. “Hopefully, more people will watch as these meetings are televised.”

Mayor Laura Friedman also voted to broadcast the meetings.

Other commission meetings at City Hall — excluding some that deal with personnel issues — are taped and aired on GTV6 and archived on the city’s website.

With the council’s vote, the Audit Committee will continue to be kept off that TV schedule, although staff reports and meeting minutes will continue to be posted on the city’s website.

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-- Brittany Levine, Times Community News

Twitter: @brittanylevine

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