In the 2009-2011 City Council term, Richardson took some significant steps towards improved transparency -- televising council meetings, posting checkbook register online, passing a code of ethics.
At the June 6, 2011, City Council work session, city staff proposed a budget calendar that calls for a four-day budget "retreat" July 18-21. In the past, this has been held at the Richardson Woman's Club and has *not* been televised. This exception to the council's commitment to transparency was a notable backslide from what had by then become standard practice of televising meetings. But it could possibly be excused as mere oversight.
Therefore, it was encouraging to hear council member Amir Omar, supported by Steve Mitchell, raise the issue in Monday's City Council work session. They received assurances that this year's budget work session could and would be televised despite being held off site at the Richardson Woman's Club. The City Council is to be commended for showing its commitment to transparency over convenience.
P.S. Not that I'll necessarily be watching the proceedings. Budget meetings are B O R I N G. Personally, I'll probably be watching a rerun of Parks & Recreation.