AUBURN — An Auburn effort to get more frequent updates on what the city’s advisory boards and committees are doing is moving forward slowly.

Councilors created new expectations for advisory groups that answer to the City Council in October designed to give councilors better oversight and make the committee’s operations more transparent.

On Monday, Assistant City Manager Denis D’Auteuil and City Clerk Sue Clements-Dallaire said they’ve had responses from some of those groups.

“I actually went to a few of their websites, and I found very few sets of minutes,” Clements-Dallaire said. “Even with agendas, there were some groups and committees where I could not even find agendas. So, this way, we hope to be able to post them to our website.”

They’ll continue working with those groups and should report back to the City Council in October.

City staff notified the committees in March, explaining what they expect — agendas posted publicly at least two days before meetings, time for public comment at all meetings and regular reports back to councilors on the groups’ actions.

The rules would apply to 32 boards or committees, ranging from city committees like the Ethics Panel, the Planning Board and the Recreation Board, as well as shared boards like the Lewiston-Auburn Transit Committee, the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments and Mid-Maine Waste Action Corporation.

Mayor Jonathan LaBonte said the idea has been in the works for four years.

“It came up as an interest to bring not only accountability to folks that may receive funding, but also some transparency,” he said.

Monday, councilors said regular meeting minutes delivered to councilors through city staff would be sufficient to keep them informed about what the groups are doing.

Councilors also asked that the groups meet with councilors on a somewhat regular basis. The original memo requested two meetings each year, but LaBonte said that could be relaxed.

“We don’t want to create a burden here or additional work,” LaBonte said. “I think the goal here is just that whoever is accountable for our money, that they give us the courtesy of a visit.”

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: