Since I attend the West Lafayette City Council meetings on a regular basis, I am going to try and give a quick overview from my notes, share items I learned, and help people stay informed on the issues.
This is by no means everything that happened. Just what I found interesting and can easily recall as I sip on tea back in the comfort of my office.
A copy of the December 1st, 2014 agenda can be found here.
As an aside, at tonight’s meeting, Councilor Gerald Thomas was absent. Councilor Dietrich wished him good health, so I am not sure what type of illness he is suffering, but I hope for a speedy recovery as well.
UPDATE: I wrote Councilor Thomas and he is doing well.
If we do not strive to provide unique and celebrated offerings in our community, what incentive do we give people to visit again and again? How can we encourage people to become a tourist in their own town?
Councilor Bunder (District 2) read some constituent e-mails regarding NRT enforcement issues and the Confederate flag being flown, in a window, on Salisbury and Stadium.
Listen to the audio for full details.
Thomas Kesler spoke about trash and concrete issues in and around New Chauncey.
I asked and spoke about a few items:
The lack of all documents being made available to the public before the meeting.
We can update some aspects of the City Code to help alleviate this issue.
I suspect (I was witness to a meeting at the Research Park where the public was not invited) that there are also bits of news and other facts floating around that are not being made as public. If you know of anything, please pass along a link, a document, phone number, etc.
I thanked the Redevelopment Commission for the continued invest in our City’s Arts Committee to the tune of $40,000.
It’s a big one! If you pull out anything interesting, let me know.
I also celebrated and thanked Thomas Kesler again for all that he does in our neighborhood and our City. He is inspiration for civic action.
I asked the City to revisit its file update procedures as the current method is leading to link rot. I personally charged Councilor DeBoer with helping to alleviate this problem.
Mary Cook spoke about her experience on the trash ordinance committee (updated in May of 2013) and how push back on trash toters continues to exasperate the problem with trash blowing around the neighborhoods. In light of all this, the City services, in her mind, are outstanding.
For the event, I also created a small zine to distribute with the TEDxLafayette material. There was a problem with the copy room where I make copies, and I needed to come back later in the week. Running short on time Friday, I had to staple the remainder of the zines at Myrdene’s.
Media is a major component when engaging politically, and with modern technology, any individual can make informative, fun political expressions and gestures. You can download, Everything is Political, We are our choicesas a PDF:
The overall experience was quite enjoyable. From the organizing individuals, to the other speakers and performers, to the audience, Civic Theater staff, media creators, and sponsors. Everyone lent an extremely valuable hand, making sure we had a successful TEDx to reference in the future.
The event received some press from the Journal and Courier under the headline, TEDx speakers challenge audience to think local, and featured a few pull quotes from speakers Kris Taylor and Beth Carroll. I was also featured in the article:
In his talk, titled “Everything We Do or Don’t Do is Political,” Zachary Baiel, a civic-minded resident and director of customer relations at Spensa Technologies, challenged the audience to think beyond the ballot box.
He said elections are not the only way constituents can engage in the political process.
If you would like for me to give this or a similar performance to you, a local civic group, or other people who are interested in learning more about becoming a political entrepreneur vs. a wait-for-it voter, please let me know.
I was told that the videos of the various performances would be available some time in December. Once I get sent a link, I will include it on this post.
I want to thank everyone again for the enjoyable, educational, and historic time. Lafayette needs local individuals to be involved, share ideas, and become their own media.
Once momentum for a particular passion spreads across to a few others in the community, action becomes easier, and opportunities to change the world at the street, neighborhood, or city level can be celebrated rather than abhorred.