By Ted AYALA
Glendale City Councilmember Laura Friedman, during remarks summarizing the trip she and other members of the council made to the meeting of the League of California Cities (LCC), urged her colleagues to adopt an online comment system that she said would “engage the public in discussion in a formal way.”
That system, which Friedman did not refer to by name, has already been adopted by several municipalities. A similar system known as NextDoor is currently employed by some in the city. But it distinguishes itself by forcing its users to submit their real names and addresses.
“We know that we’re getting real comments from real people,” she said. “That way people can’t game the system.”
The system she discussed would also allow the city to narrow comments down to just a few blocks, instead of permitting comments from outside of areas directly affected by the particular issue at hand.
She also said the system would be a great benefit to residents who can’t make the trip down to City Hall, but still have a lot to say.
“This is just another way where we can hear our constituents in a more formalized way than just a blog,” she said.
Mayor Zareh Sinanyan and Councilmember Paula Devine expressed openness to considering the system provided it fit within the city budget.
Friedman also pushed for a program that she said would allow the city to “delve into its budget,” saying that it would allow for a more “transparent” operation.
“Again, I’m all for it,” the mayor responded. “I just don’t want it to cost more than the money we save.”