I am taking this matter seriously, which is why I asked for specific examples of gender bias in the City Council minutes.

Please remember the minutes are not meant to be a transcript but rather a record that captures a summary of discussions and decisions. With that said, I plan on informing City Council of the facts related to the July 2012 minutes identified specifically in your letter (“I think, I want, I feel,” Jan. 16).

The letter stated that “two female citizens were quoted as having used the word disturbed. We did not.” “I feel” was allegedly attached to a female testifying, when she never used the phrase. Most of the time, the men were allegedly quoted as, “he said, he testified, he thinks, he wants, etc.”

Here is what I found after reviewing the meeting minutes and reviewing the video recording of the meeting.

The minutes state the following in part: “Rose Johnson, 5080 Abernathy Court is disturbed that there is a majority of city councilors who for 20 years have been chasing a new library. The election was not in the city’s favor yet the Council is trying to revise the ordinances to go ahead with their plans. She feels the majority of the Council should resign as requested ...”

The minutes do not quote the speaker. I reviewed the video recording of this meeting, which is available on the city website and found that during the public hearing on Resolution 1017 your testimony includes the partial statement “... This is a disturbing outcome...” and did not include the word “feel.”

Later testimony was reflected in the minutes as “Colette Umbras, 7515 Ridgewood Drive is disturbed from hearing comments about not enough planning or public input for this proposed library ... She hopes there is a vote in November; she knows the citizens will support it.”

The minutes do not quote the speaker. My review of the recording indicates that her statements included this phrase “Tonight in particular has been very disturbing for me hearing some of the comments about there hasn’t been enough planning.”

Maryanna Moore, who also testified at the meeting, is represented in the minutes as follows: “Maryanna Moore went to the first meeting of the library board. They took names and addresses but she never heard from them again. She feels that if you didn’t have the same vision they had you were not welcome ...” The review of the recording indicates that she stated in part “...None of us don’t want a library, we just feel that what they chose...”

Also of note, the minutes indicated that “Kim Sieckmann, 145 W. Dartmouth is in favor of this Ordinance; however, he does feel that design review should remain a decision of the Planning Commission. There needs to be an appeal process where the issue would come before Council.”

The minutes do not quote the speaker. As you know Kim Sieckmann is male. The recording indicates that he did not use the phrase “he does feel” although the term is used in the minutes.

Herb Otkin’s testimony is captured in the minutes as follows: “Herb Otkin, 6767 Oakridge Drive stated he is tired of all the bickering that is going on regarding the proposed library. He feels the library as proposed is the best deal the City could possibly have ...”

The minutes do not quote the speaker. Review of the video recording indicates that Herb Otkin did not use the phrase “He feels...” in his testimony.

In my interpretation of the facts pertaining to the July 10 minutes, I do not see them to be gender biased. I intend to let City Council review this information at the Feb. 12 regular meeting in order to make its own determination. Again, please let me know of other examples.

Pete Boyce is the administrator for the city of Gladstone responding to concerns of citizen Rose Johnson.

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