Re. "Government Transparency" letter from C. Alexander published Jan. 5, 2023.
January 19, 2023
In her letter of Jan. 5, 2023, Ms. Alexander belittles the role of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, stating it is “involved in making recommendations on the use of the public right of way”. When I chaired the BPAC we actively tried to support staff who are implementing the Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Plan adopted by City Council in June 2020. The plan is extensive, and available on our city website.
Ultimately of course, the BPAC can only listen, discuss, request information, and recommend. As an advisory committee, they have no power to implement policy. So, Ms. Alexander’s characterization that BPAC is going rogue seems slightly hyperbolic.
Re. the first specific complaint: members of the public are permitted to speak on topics of their choosing during "Public Comment for Items Not on the Agenda". This is standard practice, and Committee, Commission, or Council members responding to such comments is not unusual.
Re. BPAC meeting minutes: the Committee cannot review or approve meeting minutes until they are presented to the Committee by city staff. The Committee does not have a secretary. City staff are responsible for recording minutes, and presenting them at subsequent meetings for approval, so questions about delay of published minutes should really be addressed to staff. As of this letter, the only BPAC minutes from 2022 missing from the city website are October and December.
Re. bylaws: I don’t know the status of BPAC bylaws, but if they have none, it may be due to the hectic first years of the Committee. I was the inaugural Chair of the BPAC, Sep. 2016 to June 2020. During that period Culver City employed 3 different BPAC coordinators, and between their tenures other staff members filled-in, creating multiple points of contact those first years. The frequent reorganization of responsibility was challenging. For example, the second coordinator worked with me on bylaws (referenced in the meeting minutes of Sep and Nov 2018, and January 2019), but that person left the position shortly after, and my recollection is that staff never presented final draft bylaws for approval. After asking for and not receiving them, I chose to move on to more pertinent issues. Of course this should be remedied. And I suspect that if staff found the bylaws drafted back then, the current BPAC would be happy to consider them.
I hope this sheds light on some of the questions raised in Ms. Alexander’s letter.