Last post for the day from The People’s Reporter: A couple readers e-mailed me this morning about an unusual reference by Councilwoman Marti Emerald on Monday to her “Citizens Advisory Council.”

None of the readers who contacted me — people who are generally involved with local politics — remember Emerald having such a group of citizens to help her make policy decisions in the past. In a statement Monday, Emerald said the group of 20 citizens “overwhelmingly” supported plans for a new downtown library and City Hall. The group meets with Emerald on a quarterly basis.

“Participants comprise a diverse cross-section of the district and serve as an additional set of eyes and ears in the neighborhoods of District-7,” Emerald said in the statement.

A few questions from readers (and me): Who are these citizens? Who do they represent? Why do they deserve more access and influence to Emerald than any other citizen? What are their interests?

I called Emerald’s office before noon and explained that I was working on a People’s Reporter assignment. I also sent an e-mail asking about the Citizens Advisory Council to Geni Cavitt, the councilwoman’s director of communications.

Later in the day, an Emerald staffer said city attorneys were reviewing my request. My messages have not been returned since.

We will continue to follow this assignment until we get some better answers.


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