Open meeting with Jamar Brown and Gene Logas: Tuesday, April 3rd, 6:pm, CPL Room 215

From Jamar Brown:

I just wanted to let you know that I have set up a meeting to be available to the public for tomorrow 6pm in rm 215 at the library. There has been so much discussion over the past few weeks I just feel I have to give everyone a chance who wants to talk a chance. There won’t be an agenda just open discussion.  I will have Gene on hand because I’m sure WCB will come up.   I don’t intend people to stay the whole time just come get their questions answered and take off,  like the at large council members do once a month.

 

Again, for those that cannot make it, feel free to leave a note here, email me or contact Jamar Brown (facebook or email).

PS – WCB = Working Cash Bond

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5 Responses to “Open meeting with Jamar Brown and Gene Logas: Tuesday, April 3rd, 6:pm, CPL Room 215”

  1. charlesdschultz Says:

    Speaking of WCB, here is the NG Editorial from the weekend:
    http://www.news-gazette.com/opinions/editorials/2012-04-02/all-systems-go-tax-increase.html

    Again, no mention of the $200 million of deferred maintenance. Again, another dour picture of how the public ain’t gonna keep playing the “mo money” game. From my point of view, it almost looks like a competition, School vs Public. That is such a wrong picture. But that is what it looks like from where I sit.

    By the way, Don Kermath’s website was first entitled “Board 7, voters 0”. Ouch. Guess I am not the only one with this perspective. And do keep in mind, I have a strong desire to dismantle this competitive nature. I am not exactly sure how. Applying for the Board Member position is one way. Keeping the lines of communication open with all parties is another way.

  2. Karen Says:

    The board really does need more people like you (or, is it more like a person like you). I am glad to hear Tommy Lockman (per NG) speaking up about the bond issue and the concerns of the public. I would like to see/hear what Jamar Brown is addressing (it seems a bit hastily advertised–not sure that works for a lot of people who might like to attend). Will people get to hear everybody else’s questions, or, is it going to be more like a one-person-at-a-time ‘private’ Q/A?

  3. brownja1 Says:

    Karen to answer your question I do not have an agenda prepared at all, the only thing I will be addressing are the questions that are asked. You are right this was put together rather quickly, this was an idea that I came up with over the weekend and moved forward with it. I wanted to have this meeting sooner rather than later and looking at my schedule and availability at the library today was what worked best without having to put it off for another week or so. I felt that I have personally only heard from a few people on the issues and wanted to open up dialog to more people. Again I truly want to listen, tonight I will not try to convince anyone of anything. The room that was available was a small conference room on the second floor. This is the reason the meeting was structured the way it was, everyone won’t fit inside the room at the same time. I understand that all these conditions might not be ideal, I felt it was better than not having it at all. I hope this clears some things up for you and I look forward to meeting.
    JBrown

  4. charlesdschultz Says:

    Thanks again to Jamar for stepping up and on a whim throwing this open meeting. Good job.

    We had a meager turnout, but not horrible given the notice. I would say about 3-4 media folks, maybe 3 folks from the Transportation building, about 6 total community members (including myself – some left, some came late), Dr. Wiegand and Jamar. One gentleman from the community was quite concerned about the “consent and control” aspect of the working cash bond; he has a bit of history in the area and has communicated with Jamar and pretty much knows the score, and he shared how citizens want some aspect of control as to how their money is spent. They want to be able to voice their consent. Which cannot happen with working cash bonds. A gentleman from the Transportation building expressed concern about the amount of money to cover the new building ($1.5 million ain’t gonna buy a new building, is it?). I confess, he shared some other things but I just don’t recall them offhand. Basically how bad the building is. But he agree that he doesn’t want people reaching into his wallet without his say so.

    The first gentleman also expressed the concern about how the working cash bond was handled will affect a future sales tax referendum. We all know its coming, and some of us will whole-heatedly support it. Personally, I don’t want to see a split vote again. I would love to see us get to the place where a super majority are in agreement. This is most definitely a challenge, but not impossible. Eventually.

    I think Jamar did a great job of listening. Granted, most of the time we spent on working cash bond issues, and he did a good job fielding responses, team-tagging with Dr. Wiegand on certain points. I had mixed feelings about Mr. Gene Logas not being there. In retrospect, perhaps it was a good thing – he tends to have a more dominating presence than Dr. Wiegand.

    I talked a little about how the community doesn’t really see how the first $200 million figure even came into being, and how it might be helpful if, like a long-term fundraiser, Unit 4 had some kind of imagery (ie, I used a thermostat analogy, with 20 degree milestones) to help show the community where we are and where we are going. And while I agree with Jamar’s statement that as a Board they do share a lot of information at Board Meetings, that information is pretty much landlocked. Especially when Gene Logas presents – when he shares data, it is usually so technical and (I’m sorry) dry that it requires a bit of higher brain functions just to absorb what he is saying. At least for me.

    I appreciated how Jamar made it clear that he was speaking for himself, and that in these open meetings he did not represent the Board as a whole, and thus was able to express his own opinions (which he did). One of the more favored moments was after Jamar stated that while he is being as transparent as possible, sometimes they (the Board) has to make decisions (about things in general, not specific to WCB) based on knowledge they are not allowed to share (no more details provided), and a lady from the community asked “What information are you not sharing about the working cash bonds?” Rather caught Jamar off-guard, but he recovered well as we all laughed about it.

    Jamar also made it very clear this would not be a one-time stand, that he intends to do more open meetings. I look forward to seeing more public meaningful involvement in this small slice of engagement. 🙂

    Overall an excellent opportunity. Jamar wanted to demonstrate how he as an individual (and also as a Board) is hearing what community members say. Some action steps that I can recall:
    Jamar is going to figure out how to publicize what he heard from tonight’s open meeting
    more open meetings

    I look forward to reading (and watching and hearing) what others thought of this meeting.

  5. Open Discussion about school district issues: Tuesday, April 17th, 7-9:pm, Room 222 CPL « A citizen’s blog about Champaign Unit 4 Says:

    […] finalized that aspect. We invite any and all to join us. This will be very much like Jamar’s Open Meeting that was covered last week (by the NG and […]


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