PENDLETON:  Turner says council is transparent

PENDLETON: Turner says council is transparent

Mayor John Turner said he’s tired of people commenting on social media and during the public speaking portion of city council meetings that the government lacks transparency and is basically working behind closed doors.

“The city goes out of its way to try and be transparent,” he said. “If you have questions about something that’s going on, pick up the phone and call the city manager or call the department chair.”

Turner says an example of that transparency is clear with the street maintenance funding issue. The council met with 30 community organizations, held three open houses, and posted a survey on its website to discuss possible funding sources.

He said there are certain times when discussions have to take place behind closed doors because they deal with privileged information. Those include personnel issues, potential lawsuits, and real estate – like the old fire station on Southwest Court Avenue.

“In the case of this fire station sale, it’s been on your radio show,” Turner said. “We haven’t talked about the details because, like in all real estate transactions, you don’t do that.”

The city is hoping to get the best deal for the land sale while still being responsible for making sure the new owner will provide a benefit to the city. Two proposals were submitted for that property when the city issued its request for proposals. One is retail outlets with a possible hotel or apartments if a second floor is feasible. The other is for an adventure motorcycle business, which would relocate from the west side of the state.