Monday, October 3, 2011

Discussion Items Top Agenda

The City Council resumes its schedule with an agenda-setting meeting tonight (Monday, Oct. 3, 2011) at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall Library. As Dr. Yood and Dan have already mentioned, discussion items appear to be the major points of interest. To review the agenda, click here and go to Oct. 3.

As both fellow bloggers have noted, four model ordinances will be presented by The Citizens Campaign. Dan notes the group advocated legislation that was passed here as the Civic Responsibility Act of 2005. This legislation was aimed at empowering citizens to become engaged in service on boards and commissions. However, a main element - disclosure of the status of various boards and commissions - was not accomplished until this year and we don't know whether anyone has actually applied for a seat on one of these bodies based on knowing which have vacancies, etc.

The other part of getting appointed is to have the administration offer one's name for advice and consent of the governing body and then being approved. Council watchers can attest to the difficulty in recent years of getting important appointments made in a timely way.

Similarly, reforms may be sought in fiscal practices, but execution will then become the key.

Again, close observers of how the administrative and legislative branches have interacted recently can attest to the need for more collegiality and openness regarding fiscal matters. The tools may be put in place, but the implementation depends on the good will and mutual respect of all elected officials, not just some of them. Otherwise, checks and balances will be seen only as hurdles to get over by whatever means necessary.

Plaintalker urges those who come out tonight to listen to all the discussion items with a view not just for the starting point, but for the end result as well. Beyond passing legislation, what will it take to make fiscal reform actually happen?


1 comment:

  1. One of the ordinances that will be proposed tonight by the Citizens Campaign is Pay for Play legislation. We have heard a lot of TALK over the years about implementing this.

    I posed the following three questions on Councilman Storch's blog:

    - do you have four votes to start the process?

    - do you have five votes to over-ride a Mayoral veto? (if there is one)

    - will you assure us that there will be an up or down vote on it whether you have the votes or not?

    Otherwise I prefer to stay home and watch the Yankees.

    jim spear