The media coverage of the Parks & Recreation board meeting sure left a lot of people with the wrong message of what happened.
While the media coverage focused on outburst from the crowd of people in support of the dog park, most didn't focus on WHY people were angry. Sure, people were upset that the dog park thing was struck down....but it was the how that angered people.
There was a public meeting scheduled to talk about the dog park. They then took it off the agenda, and replaced it with an amendment to the dog park rules and regulations. They essentially gave the public 2 hours notice of this change (posting a note on the door of the Parks and Rec building is NOT proper public notification in an electronic age).
Then, there was allowed ZERO discussion on the new amendments -- which were clearly a back-room deal.
Folks, this is a Democracy, and a) not allowing the citizens a voice, b) backroom political deals based on friendships with the park board members and c) not providing proper public notice of meeting agendas all falls against the proper political process.
It's a shame that the media didn't cover this. Only the Kansas City Star made an effort to shine light on this by noting that board President John Fierro didn't explain any of the rational behind the backroom deal to the people who attended the meeting and that their idea of "public notification" was posting a bulletin at the Parks and Rec office.
Withholding information from public meetings is NOT the way our government should be run. Whether you side with the dogpark folks or not, EVERYONE should be concerned about backroom handshake deals, and closing out public input.
And it's a real shame the media didn't focus on these issues.