Our Call: Green Park should match its meetings with its services

Editorial

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Green Park celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and it should celebrate. Unlike past South County incorporation proposals where the numbers never added up, Green Park  is still working 25 years later. Residents can attest to that, since they enjoy superior police services from the St. Louis County Police Department and free trash pickup and yard waste services, all funded without any residential property tax.

But in some ways, Green Park is a bit behind other cities. Like other governments in our area, Green Park has taken its meetings virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of those entities, like Lindbergh Schools, have taken the opportunity to livestream meetings for the first time. Other districts like the Mehlville School District have been broadcasting video and livestreaming meetings for a decade or longer.

Unlike other cities and governments, we don’t see money as a barrier here. Green Park typically spends less than it takes in each year and has millions of dollars in the bank in reserve. And while we personally don’t see it as a barrier to public participation to have to attend public meetings at Green Park City Hall, just blocks away from any location in the city, perhaps it is. Perhaps young parents and older housebound people alike would appreciate the opportunity to check in on how their most local government is doing.

When Ward 1 Alderman Michael Broughton brought up the subject of audio recording meetings in 2018 — just audio, not video — the city didn’t seem interested. But Sunset Hills and Crestwood have posted meeting audio for many years.

As outlined in this issue (see Page 2A and Page 7A), also in 2018 Officer Blake Snyder’s mother, Peggy Snyder, gave a particularly impassioned apology to the city for the trauma residents suffered after her son, a police officer, was killed on duty in the city. Other than police officers and perhaps one resident, The Call was the only member of the public in attendance at that meeting. But if it had been recorded or livestreamed, many others in the city could have heard her thank you.

Green Park has been at the forefront of offering convenient services for its residents, but some of those residents may not even realize what they have if they’re disconnected from city government.

By posting meeting audio, the city could easily connect them.