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Update regarding City Council and City Website By Baker City Manager

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Baker City, Ore – (Release from Baker City Manager Jonathan Cannon) The city directors and managers are working to prepare for the new format of our city council meetings. Namely, one work session a month and one regular meeting a month. Both meetings are open to the public and will be streamed. The public is encouraged to attend either in person or virtually both meetings. The City Council will discuss topics in their work sessions that will then be on the regular meeting agenda. This does not preclude agenda items that could be added during a meeting. The City Council has significant flexibility to add, remove, or postpone items from agenda to agenda.

The work session scheduled for January 24 includes numerous discussion topics. One significant topic will be Council Goals. The current Council Goals provided guidance for staff through the previous and current budget cycle. As staff prepare recommendations for the upcoming budget cycle and fee schedule, the council goals discussed on Tuesday will be a reference and guide.

The city website saw a major update in 2022. The major updates and modernization focused on the responses to the survey that many of you responded to in 2022. The most important topics as mentioned by our citizens are on the home page of the website. In addition to the updates to the structure, the citizens now have access to documents formerly unavailable. Thousands of new documents are uploaded and available on the website Archive Center and Document Center including meeting files, resolutions, and historical resources. For the last one and a half years, staff have been dedicated to providing access to documents and we are beginning to see the fruits of those efforts. It is not perfect or complete yet, but it will continue to improve. This is in part the results from guidance of the current Council Goals. I know our new City Council is also committed to ensuring similar access to information continues to be improved and expanded.

One example of that access is the 1500+ resolutions that are now available in the document center. Another example is the access Civic Clerk provides to meeting agendas, agenda packets, and videos. The transition to Civic Clerk left some gaps that will need to be filled in, but moving forward from April of 2022, the agenda packets and meeting information from City Council is easily accessible. In time, the stage is set to also eventually make available all boards and commissions meeting information just as easily accessible.

Added to this is the fact that staff have securely moved millions of city records from the city server and individual computers to the cloud. Many of which would have been lost if the city server or individual computers had failed or if a disaster damaged city hall. Those records are not only stored on the cloud but also backed up by a third-party backup service. The city creates approximately a half million records each month. Many of those (i.e. emails and internal chat messages) have short retention requirements, but many are required to be stored for many years (i.e. personnel, resolutions, and financial). This effort means that the documents and operations of the city can be better preserved, recreated, or relocated in the event of an emergency. This was also one of the current Council Goals.

City Council set a closing date of January 31, for accepting applications for Boards and Commissions. They will then interview and appoint on January 14 at their regular council meeting. Now is the time to submit your application to the City Recorder to be on a Board or Commission. Every Board and Commission of the city has open seats so there is a place for you to be part of the work. The Parks and Recreation Board encourages a youth and a senior membership member. If you have a youth who might be a good fit for the Parks and Recreation Board, contact Dallas Brockett, City Recorder at cityrecorder@bakercity.gov.

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