One of the items on this evening’s city council agenda concerns the Welcoming Anaheim task force cooked up by Councilman Jose F. Moreno and Mayor Tom Tait. The council has already approved its formation, although Councilmembers Kris Murray and Lucille Kring abstained and Councilwoman Denise Barnes voted no amidst concerns over the deliberate vagueness of the proposal in the context of Moreno’s expressed support for making Anaheim a sanctuary city..
The main question tonight is whether there will be full public transparency vis-a-vis the Welcoming Anaheim task force – including video broadcasting of task force meetings. Other specially-purpose city task forces have had their meetings video-cast online – recent examples include the Charter Commission and the Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections and Governance.
Moreno and Tait have thus far been holding the Welcome Anaheim task force close to the vest. They are appointing all 10-12 task force members “representing a variety of stakeholder groups from around the City, including churches, nonprofits, education leaders and other interested parties.” An earlier request by Councilwoman Kris Murray to allow each councilmember to make an appointment – as was the case with the Charter Commission and Citizens Advisory Committee – was rebuffed by Moreno.
Will full transparency prevail with the Welcoming Anaheim task force? Moreno’s response to Murray’s request for such will be intriguing given the transparency rhetoric he employed at his swearing in on December 13:
During his swearing-in speech, Moreno said:
“I would also ask our council colleagues to look deeper into how we might strengthen transparent and open government ordinances that would allow the people to see everything that we do, everyone who speaks to us, so that everything is open, honest and with integrity.”
During councilmember comments a few minutes later, Moreno reiterated his dedication to transparency in city government:
“I’d also like to ask, per my comments, that staff provide us with an exploration of policies across our state, not our county, of ordinances that provide greater transparency — what are often called sunshine ordinances – to assure the people that all transactions of the people are under the light of day.”
If the city should indeed allow the people to see everything it does and everyone who speaks to it, so that all city functions are conducted in the light of day, then it would be curious if just a few weeks late Moreno were to exempt his signature initiative from the sunshine of transparency.