Does your (American) city keep transcript records of its city council meetings?
September 22, 2009 11:38 AM   Subscribe

Does your (American) city keep transcript records of its city council meetings?

In the beginnings of a dissertation, any help appreciated as I search out cities to study!

I am looking for American cities (of any size, at this point) that have kept records of their city council meetings where the transcript is logged and available (even if by purchase). I need to be able to identify the person speaking with their words. Videos of the council meetings are not quite good enough for my research requirements (but interesting to know as well). Thanks so much!
posted by quodlibet to Law & Government (7 answers total)
Austin has pretty good ones, for free.
posted by smackfu at 11:50 AM on September 22, 2009

In Texas, the Texas Public Information Act gives us the right to request these if they are not otherwise available. I'm not sure if "us" means Texans, Americans, or citizens of the world.

For Houston, here are the names, email addresses, physical addresses, and telephone numbers of the 2 people who handle that for city council information.
posted by Houstonian at 12:32 PM on September 22, 2009

Here are Seattle, WA City Council minutes, back to 2002. And Pullman, WA (pop. 24k) for some contrast.
posted by napkin at 12:38 PM on September 22, 2009

Oops, apologies, I gave you minutes, not transcripts! Sorry if that's not helpful.
posted by napkin at 12:39 PM on September 22, 2009

In general, all government meetings must be open to the public and minutes, and sometimes transcripts, must be maintained for x years. Specifics vary by states and municipality. For example, this page has audio recordings of all study sessions and regular meetings for the Tucson city council. If a city doesn't make them available on the internet then a Freedom of Information Act Request should get them for you. The only exception is when a council meets in Executive Session to discuss personnel matters, legal issues and other sensitive topics.
posted by nestor_makhno at 12:41 PM on September 22, 2009

Response by poster: To help clarify - I am not looking for minutes (which are readily available from most city's websites). I am looking for more detailed, verbatim transcripts (which will have some omitted parts, most likely I understand). Thanks everyone thus far!
posted by quodlibet at 12:52 PM on September 22, 2009

I don't know if this will help, but my town of Branson, Missouri puts many of the meetings online in audio files.
posted by shinynewnick at 6:54 PM on September 22, 2009

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