Council chair proposes taping Citizens Forum once a month

June 17, 2014

By LISA CAPOBIANCO
STAFF WRITER
Discussion of the way the Citizen’s Forum is handled in Plainville continues after Town Council Chairperson Kathy Pugliese made a proposal to tape that part of the meeting during the first meeting held every month.
During a recent Town Council meeting, Pugliese addressed the Council about taping the Citizen’s Forum during the first meeting of every month on weekly public access station Nutmeg TV. In the event that one meeting would be scheduled in a given month, such as July, August, and September, the Citizen’s forum still would be filmed. Pugliese also made a proposal to keep the Citizen’s forum from 7 to 7:30 p.m. before the regular Town Council meeting begins. Council members have not made a final decision yet.
Pugliese said her proposal serves as an opportunity for individuals who wish to share their ideas and concerns with the Council publicly, but may not want to appear on television.
“The town would end up paying for that filming of the first Citizen’s Forum of each month,” said Pugliese. “Hopefully, this would help satisfy some of the needs of citizens feeling we are not being responsive—I think it’s a good compromise.”
Council Vice Chairperson Scott Saunders agreed with Pugliese during the meeting.
“I think it’s important people have an opportunity to speak,” said Saunders. “I do think this is a fair compromise.”
Councilor Quinn Christopher agreed the town should film the
“I do think citizens deserve to be televised—I don’t have an issue with it…I would like to see both meetings televised every month televised,” said Christopher.
During the oral petitions, some residents, including Lou Frangos rejected the compromise. Last month, residents asked the Council to change the time of the Citizen’s Forum to 7:30 p.m. so that part of the meeting could be televised.
“I appreciate the proposal, but it almost sounds like our way or no way,” said Frangos.
“Citizen’s Forum is part of the Town Council meeting.”
John Kisluk, one of several Plainville residents who helped organize the filming of Citizen’s Forum with donations raised, said they would still pay for the filming of the second meeting despite Pugliese’s compromise.
 “It’s a courtesy to the citizens of this town who elected you and put you up there to listen to us,” said Kisluk, adding they have received donations for filming.
“We’re going to have both filmed—we will continue to pay until you decide you want to [film] both meetings.”
Pugliese replied she did not have a problem with Kisluk and other residents paying for the second meeting, but added her compromise serves as a way to best serve the town.
“I believe people want to come speak to the Council, but they may not want to be on television, and this provides that opportunity for those people who feel passionately about something,” said Pugliese.  “I’m trying to reach a middle ground to what I believe is going to best serve everyone in Plainville.”
Comments? Email lcapobianco@BristolObserver.com.

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