Dear Mayor

I am writing in response to the news that the council is considering moving the Public Input section of the meetings to the later or end of the agenda. Though I understand why the meetings are at 1:00pm which is to serve and accommodate the city employees, being from out of state, I come from a city where city councils were held in the evening to primarily serve the public. So, I was quite surprised that here in Las Cruces, only the School Board held their meetings in the evening which are at 6:00pm.
Should this idea come from the frustration that people come to the council only to vent, complain or accuse and walk out showing no interest in the city’s business, then this idea is rooted in the foolish notion that you can change human behavior. No more than if you moved all the student presentations and awards to the end, would the parents stay to the end and sit through the city’s business? This decision will have the optics of it being personal not professional.
If there were to be any change, voters would have expected it to be a move toward the people and not more restriction for the public to have access to your meetings, their council representatives and yourself. Clearly moving public input to the end adds more restriction to those concerned citizens who already sacrifice by take their lunch time, if working individuals, to bring their concerns and issues to your chamber.
As elected officials it is your highest duty to pave greater access to citizens’ voices. A positive decision, if a move is required, would be to put Public Input first on the agenda to show your dedication and commitment to those who have elected you into the seat you hold today.
Thank you for considering the citizens and voters who entrusted you with this great responsibility.

Julie Pfau

District 5


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