Solicitor to provide opinion on right to record proceedings
The trend to stifle discussion concerning the City of York’s protectionist mobile food vendor regulations continues. Sonia Huntzinger, Downtown Inc. Director and mobile food vendor committee chairperson, mulled suspending tonight’s committee session in response to Public Works Director Jim Gross’ objection to the presence of my video camera.
Camera is still running, bureaucrats be damned. This session falls under sunshine act provisions; transparency trumps government discomfort— Manuel Gomez (@NoPovertyPimps) May 20, 2014
What about a mobile food vendor committee session is so delicate and proprietary it must remain secret? We all know the players behind this protectionist gambit and the public officials who pander to them. Present were representatives from Foodstruck York and the Mobile Food Vendors Association, none of whom defended my right to record the proceedings or expressed any concern with the apparent cloak of secrecy imposed over the session.
It’s important to note this is not an isolated incident. During last year’s city council committee session I was summarily shutdown by city council and otherwise forced to offer input under duress as officials in chambers (both seated in gallery and behind the table) snickered, jeered and interrupted me throughout the whole process. It’s clear the move to an ad-hoc ‘mobile food vendor committee’ is an attempt to abridge discussion and occlude transparency. View the footage below and ask yourselves, is this the type of government you believe in and want to see making decisions in your community?
This struggle is far from over. The question now is, will you get involved and join in the effort to bring transparency and openness to local government? The behavior exhibited by local officials today is surely a harbinger of what is to come if people remain on the sidelines, oblivious and unconcerned with taking action.
What’s your response? So long as this behavior goes unchallenged it will only get worse. Full video of the entire committee discussion will be uploaded to another article soon.