News-Times weighs in on public broadcasting of government meetings
Friday, July 14, 2006 Time: 11:38 AM
The effort to get political meetings broadcasted is gainging momenutm. The News-Times weighs in on the issue and ups the ante by picking a date when all city government meetings should be broadcasted.
A proposal to broadcast Danbury Common Council meetings on local cable television has been sent to a council committee for study.
That's a good first step to success unless the council's Republican majority is trying to kill the proposal.
Would Republicans do that? Sure. Just as Democrats did before them when they were in the majority. Now Democrats are in the minority and are promoting the broadcast of council meetings.
Good idea. And let's broaden it beyond Common Council meetings. Why not broadcast Danbury Board of Education meetings? Why not broadcast planning and zoning meetings?
Towns around Danbury have done this for years. Broadcasting meetings allows the public to keep track of public business.
There is too much apathy in Danbury. The city often appears too big for one citizen to make a difference. Broadcasting meetings will invite people into the process.
You'd think politicians would be eager to be on TV. When they aren't, it's natural to wonder why. The assumption has to be made that Republicans don't want Danbury voters to know what goes on at government meetings.
The Republican mayor is a determined and creative fellow. If he wanted to fill those eight hours on the government channel and help the people of Danbury see their city government in action, he would find the money to make it happen.
Ditto for the Republican majority on the Common Council. That's what being in the majority means.
So let's set a goal. By Jan. 1, 2007, city government meetings should be broadcast daily on the cable television government channel.
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On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.
The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.
Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.
Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.