Alpharetta residents have been asking for transparency from City Council in its City Center project, and Mayor David Belle Isle has responded by making it a workshop item on every future council meeting.
The next meeting will be Aug. 6, which also happens to be the first meeting that will be broadcast live online through the city's website.
“The City Center Project is now at a point where things are really starting to happen,” said Belle Isle in a news release emailed Monday afernoon, July 30. “So that important decisions can be made on a timely basis, we need to be certain that everyone knows exactly what is going on and all of Council is ready to make choices. By dedicating time on each Council agenda, we will be able to keep things on track and the public will be getting the latest information at the same time as City Council.”
The public normally is not allowed to comment during workshop meetings. No council business can be enacted during a workshop, either. Comments by City Council members generally give staff the direction to move on workshop agenda items.
Local residents still may have a chance to offer up opinions on City Center whenever a regular meeting is held on the same night. However, they'd be speaking to council before the the City Center report because workshop meetings traditionally follow regular meetings.
Meetings of the Alpharetta City Council are typically held on the first, third, and fourth Monday of each month beginning at 7:30 p.m. Citizens are encouraged to visit the City website (www.alpharetta.ga.us) to see the current meeting schedule or to view Council meetings live via the internet.
Beginning with its Aug. 6 meeting the North Fulton community will be live streaming council meetings via the Internet.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for citizens to participate in local government,” said Alpharetta spokesperson James Drinkard. “Our new video capabilities allow residents to witness the discussions that go into various decisions without the need to drive to a meeting.”
To access the live video, simply visit the City of Alpharetta website (www.alpharetta.ga.us) and select “Meetings Online” from the scrolling icon bar at the center of the home page. From the resulting meetings manager portal a visitor can select the meeting currently in progress or access previously recorded meetings and minutes.
But it won't only be City Council that goes "live online." Beginning in September, Alpharetta will begin live streaming meetings of its Planning Commission and Design Review Board. The meetings of other boards and commissions will be added at a later date.