Residents Slam Daytime Mesquite Council Meeting Time

Mesquite residents protest in front of City Hall

By Tammy Mutasa
|  Monday, Jul 30, 2012  |  Updated 6:40 PM CDT
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A group of Mesquite residents are protesting the city's decision to have council meetings moved back to during the day time instead of night.

Tammy Mutasa, NBC 5 Mesquite Reporter

A group of Mesquite residents are protesting the city's decision to have council meetings moved back to during the day time instead of night.

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A group of Mesquite residents are protesting the city's decision to return City Council meetings to the daytime.

Meetings will be held during the day beginning Aug. 6. The regular council meetings will start at 3 p.m., and pre-meetings are slated to start at noon.

"We need to stand up for our rights, and it is our right to hear this business," said Brad T. Underwood, who organized a protest outside City Hall. "We liked them in the evening where we can actually attend. And it doesn't matter if there's five people or 50 people there -- it's the public's business."

The City Council moved the meetings to the evening on a trial basis in October 2011 to determine if attendance would increase. The city said there wasn't a significant increase in general attendance after 19 council meetings.

"During that 10-month period, we really didn't see a significant, consistent increase in attendance," city spokesman Wayne Larson said.

Resident Joanne Shields said she prefers to voice her concerns to the City Council face-to-face, saying council members can sometimes be difficult to reach.

"I've never had them respond me either," she said. "They are stifling that for the people who are unable to make it because they have a job and are paying taxes in our city."

The City Council will re-evaluate attendance to see if changes to future meeting times will be made.

Residents can watch meetings anytime through the city's video streaming services. Meetings are broadcast live and are archived on the city's website.

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