The people arriving early to the meeting are greeted by a troop of bongo players, a drumming noise that is only equalled once a year when the Maritime Republic of Eastport brings their kids and their flags and everyone wishes they lived in Stevensville.
Today's meeting is a legislative meeting, which means that it starts at 7:30 instead of 7:00. All other distinctions between this and the 'public hearing' meeting have been frayed beyond recognition.
The Mayor is not here, but fear not, the brave Alderman Hoyle is the acting Mayor for tonight.
We are going to play a new game today. You can send to email@example.com your guesses for what time Alderman Shropshire will first address the masses watching on TV. The person who gets the time the closest to the correct time will receive a hidden camera and tape recorder, compliments of the blogger's guild.
Last meeting, I wore myself out. I'll admit it. None of that today! I am going to write what happens, along with anything funny that I think of. The rest of the time, I will surveying the VIP crowd for any insider information, and deciding what to have for dinner tonight.
The bongo players are here for a bailout, citing the dual facts that they are located in the above mentioned MRE and they will have to shut down if they don't get some city money.
Alderman Finlayson just addressed the people watching on television! Call Parker Bros.....we need more games....
There are more city manager bills than spyware on my computer. Fortunately, there is a chance that one or more of those will be voted down (and go away) today. If that happens, I'll eat a steak sandwich for dinner.
We now move into committee reports, which is the time during the meeting when the Aldermen promise that they are working hard even when they are not on TV, and inform the curious public when their various committees are meeting next, and/or why their various committees are postponing their next scheduled meeting. If you are lucky, you may also learn of a 'closed committee meeting; about legal matters, and that you cannot learn anymore about said meeting.
The Mayor is on her way, we have learned. Alderman Hoyle is not a speedy agenda reader, we have further learned. You learn something every day!
My main man Arthur came up to speak, informed us that he had 3 things to speak about, then informed us that he would be prioritizing these 3 things in the order: 1, 3, 2. He went on to tell a story, apparently in all seriousness, of how the APD broke into his house, dragged him outside with only one shoe on, took him to the hospital, drugged him heavily, then sent him to the psych ward--all while ignoring his recitation of a 1776 document on warrants. My God. His final statement: "I'm off to Salvation Army work in the midwest".
Tony Evans is speaking, which is pleasant, and he notes some important deficiencies in the renewal lease for the downtown Farmers Market (the lease is up for renewal on first reader). Alderman Paone, with the approval of Alderman Stankivic, points out that we might want to charge the market rent at least in the equivalent amount that would be taken by the parking meters that would otherwise be in operation at that location. Alderman Israel is piling on, noting that we now have a financial record of their first operating year and can identify if rent would be appropriate, particularly if (since) FreshFarm is a for-profit company.
Oops, Alderman Arnett just said that they are a non-profit company. He also just said that while looking through the boat show lease, they found that the boat shows have control of city property from May-November! Geez. Previous posts on this blog have suggested that the current boat-show fight is partly attributable to a desire from the Hartman conglomerate to control the city dock, and that lease would support that theory.
A member of the VIP crowd is setting Alderwoman Hoyle up for something regarding a closed meeting of the finance committee, which she chairs. She responds that this is not a time for interrogation. I sense something brewing. I will do some investigating.
Alderman Cordle just went on record as supporting a referendum on the city manager bills, suggesting that maybe they should repeal the bills until 'the public has spoken'. Political translation: he wants to delay decreasing the power of the mayor until he has a chance to be elected mayor.
Approximately 30% of the people here are going to run for mayor next year.
CA-01-08: The first city manager charter amendment. POSTPONED. (sigh)
CA-04-08: The next city manager charter amendment. POSTPONED. (another sigh).
CA-05-08: The next city manager charter amendment. PASSES. (first reader only).
CA-06-08: The next city manager charter amendment. PASSES. (first reader only).
O-33-08. See HERE for info. (energy policy). PASSES 7-1 (Stankivic).
R-36-08. Expanding Renewable Engergy. (motion to postpone fails). 6-1 (Cordle voted no, Stankivic abstained).
O-37-08. Appointment to Art In Public Places Commission. PASSES. 7-1 (Stankivic).
O-44-08: Protected Classes Subject To Fair Housing Requirements. PASSES on first reader.
O-45-08: Reclassifying the paralegal position to Civil Service. PASSES on first reader but only by a 6-2 vote (normally all bills are passed on first reader out of political courtesy and referred to committee, but Stankivic tried to kill it right away. Arnett was the other 'nay').
O-46-08: FreshFarm Farmers Market Lease. PASSES on first reader.
R-60-08: Wavier of Fees for Light House Shelter. PASSES on first reader.
Meeting is over, without Alderman Sam addressing the television audience. I guess I'm skipping dinner tonight.