DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — An organization in Decatur held a public workshop Wednesday to educate citizens on the inner workings of the city council.

Andrea Hoffmeier, the leader of 1Duck, or the Decatur United Citizens Kaizen, says the Decatur City Council’s approach to the public comment portion of their meetings was lacking. Her organization held the workshop Wednesday at Decatur’s Princess Theater.

“There are citizens who show up and they have the best intentions but then what happens is they get up to the podium and they are flustered, and they don’t have anything written down,” Hoffmeier explained.  

Hoffmeier noticed that the reaction that the unprepared citizens get from the city council can be described as dismissive.  

“You can tell that that citizen is very passionate about this topic,” said Hoffmeier.

Hoffmeier, a mainstay at city council meetings, decided it’s time to address just how important it is for Decatur residents to create a stronger unit at council meetings to stay on top of the many issues that affect their daily lives.

“We do see that there are potential issues whether they are intentional or not,” she continued.

The main topic of the workshop was how to properly file an ethics complaint. Hoffmeier referred to where Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling received blowback after reports surfaced about his operation of an AirBNB at his home despite a city ordinance that prohibits that operation. 

“There has been comment from the mayor and he has acknowledged it,” she said. “The opinions of city council members are on record that they don’t believe that this is something that he should have been doing. So, this isn’t conjectured these are facts and there are going to be other things in the future.” 

Bowling refused to provide a comment to News 19 about the AirBNB.