The Manassas City Council has a meeting and public hearing tonight that should be rather interesting for citizens to attend. There’s the presentation of the proposed FY 2008 city budget. And there’s ten minuted reserved in advance by Philip Van Cleave of the VCDL, who will undoubtably speak about the recent harassment of several citizens by members of the Manassas City Police Department and the discovery of some rather inflammatory statements regarding the incident that came to light as a result of a FOIA request. I’ll be at what will certainly be an equally interesting PWCRC meeting tonight, but the major media outlets will be in Manassas to cover the meeting in my absence, as well as a number of regular readers who I’m sure will be ready to share their observations.
Despite the potential for a lot of passionate discussion, I’m sure citizens attending tonight’s meeting will come away impressed with the way the City Council will manage the meeting and how it will address the citizen concerns that I expect to be expressed. This isn’t the first time the Manassas City Council has had to deal with contentious issues. Hopefully those who address the council this evening will demonstrate the same degree of respect that the council consistently affords to those who address it. Mr. Van Cleave is also pretty experienced in dealing with contentious issues in a respectful manner, so this should end up being a pretty genteel conversation regarding some tough issues. So while informative, the entertainment component of tonight’s meeting should be pretty low, unless folks start reading excerpts from the Manassas Journal-Messenger. Few fireworks tonight would probably a good thing.
While the issue of the “VCDL 7″ is what will drive a lot of tonight’s discussion, I hope that citizens take some time to understand the 2008 budget and weigh in on it. Everyone by this time is well aware of the “VCDL 7″ incident, and I’m pretty sure the city is already well on it’s way towards addressing it, but that should not drown out other topics of conversation. What the city may not be as informed of as this law enforcement incident, is how the citizens view the 2008 budget and what suggestions for improvement they may have. I’m not quite sure that they’ve had a lot of opportunity to digest the budget, however, given that the link for the proposed budget on the city’s website is broken. While some citizens could have used some more time to evaluate it, copies should be available at the council meeting for those versed in financial statement speed reading. For the rest of the items on the agenda, there’s plenty of detail in the meeting’s Agenda Packet.
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