During last week’s meeting of the City of Clarksville Parking Commission, Commission member Andrea Herrera asked a reporter to stop recording a portion of the public meeting, in violation of the state’s open meeting act, which allows for all portions of a meeting to be viewed, accessed, and recorded as a matter of public record. Herrera also asked for a special parking exception to be made for one of her employees, which seems to be a direct conflict of interest to her new role, and was visibly upset when the other commissioners didn’t necessarily accommodate her.
The request came among a roomful of people when the commission was hearing from Lance Baker, who was giving his opinion on whether or not to stop the ParkMobile contract, and what ramifications it could have on the contract with the city. Parking Commissioner Andrea Herrera, who owns Mildred & Mable’s in downtown Clarksville interrupted from her seat at the commissioner member table and asked a reporter to not record this portion of the meeting, as seen in the video below. City Communications Director Linda Gerron can be seen visibly shaking her head immediately after Herrera’s request.
Members, who seem to be new to city government, also brought their personal issues to the meeting. Councilperson Wanda Smith asked the commission to erect no parking signs in her neighborhood to resolve a personal matter, and business owner Andrea Herrera is asking for a special parking solution for one of her employees. It appears both of these items will be addressed in the new meeting of the parking commission, as ethics and conflicts of interest have made it to the official agenda.
We reached out to the city for comment, and to inquire if parking commission members were provided with training on open meetings law, however, the city did not respond to multiple inquiries.
The parking commission meets on February 24th, at 3 p.m. for a special called meeting at City Hall.