Monday, February 9, 2009

City Council Meeting 2/9/09: Live Blog

Greetings and salutations. The pre-meeting festivities tonight began with the city elevator getting stuck while carrying the Mayor, the City Clerk, and myself, and continues now with a presentation of the history of this city hall building. Early hopes are for a quick meeting tonight, so anybody looking to win a pulled pork sandwich by guessing the correct time of the meeting's end should guess accordingly.

7:10

I have learned that the people giving the presentation about the building are actually part of the company that has been hired to fix the building. You may remember that parts of the council chambers actually fell from the ceiling some time ago. You may also remember the air conditioning fiasco.

7:30

Don't worry, we aren't starting on time. Just a heads up, we are scheduled to have a vote on the city manager tonight.

7:38

Ok, now we're starting. Everyone is here.

7:41

We are now in committee reports, the time of the meeting when I check my email.

7:43

Alderman Shropshire just "invited the public" to do something, which is not the same as addressing the viewing public on television, for those scoring at home.

7:48

No new emails. (I answered most of them on my Blackberry.)

8:01

The chair of the compensation committee reports that the "modest and incremental approach to compensation taken by the last committee has led to an erosion of the mayor's salary in constant dollars and may have contributed to salary inequities."

8:16

The compensation committee is still speaking. They are currently offering testimony on what I would consider the fringe of the purview of "compensation", just now suggesting that Aldermen should have access to meeting spaces, the right to purchase city health care, and the ability to hire interns.

8:24

The mayor suggests that the compensation committee recommendations reflect a 'value standard' of pay, as opposed to the political considerations of voting pay raises for elected officials, appropriately putting into perspective the dilemma attached to paying yourself with other people's money.

8:30

Scheduled for a vote tonight is a bill that would exempt the Lighthouse Shelter from paying permits on some new construction they are doing, in an amount north of $200,000 I think. There is a Lighthouse rep here appealing for its passage, probably because the idea was met with ample negativity during public hearing.

8:50

VOTING TIME!

CA-04-08: City Manager (The Better One)

Ok, it looks like the Aldermen are going to speak their minds before the actual vote happens. Paone says that his generation hated Nixon, but never contemplated changing the national government. Sounds like a negative vote from him upcoming. He acknowledged himself as being the "swing" vote on this measure, and seems to be pre-justifying what he is apparently about to do. He is also suggesting a the lobbying effort from both sides on him, and his disappointment that both sides were so entrenched on their views before public hearings that such rhetoric as the Magna Carta or the Declaration of Independence would not have swayed their viewpoint. He is expressing his loneliness at being the only person listening to both sides, only to be accused of waffling! "I did what I'm paid to do".

Alderman Paone is laying groundwork to suggest that a change of such magnitude should obtain the consent of the people through referendum, and seems unwilling to cast his vote in favor without that direct approval of the citizenry, which we won't get without quite a concerted effort. Looks like this bill is going down.

For those of you who may be watching, or not, there is an embarrassment of parliamentary procedure going on right now. What happened was there was a vote to end debate and call the question (meaning proceed to the vote on the bill), which passed. So, the bill was now on the table. The mayor asked for votes, there were several "yes" votes, and zero "no" votes. After that, they all said "what are we voting for", ignoring the fact that they had just voted the bill into law. But, they deliberated a while, and effectively voted again.

Here is the roll call:
Moyer: NO
Israel: YES
Paone: NO
Hoyle: NO
Finlayson: NO
Cordle: N0
Stankivic: YES
Shropshire:YES
Arnett:YES

CA 04-09 FAILS.

Now the other one, CA-06. This really wouldn't change that much. And it FAILS.

O-39-08: Later Closing Hours For Wine Bars In The MX Zone: PASSES 6-2 (Stankivic and Shropshire, Hoyle abstains.)

O-48-08: Temporary Parking Changes On Maryland Ave and Hanover St.: PASSES (I missed the roll call).

R-60-08: Wavier Of Fees For Lighhouse Shelter: POSTPONED.

R-62-08: Authorizing The Negotiation of a PILOT For Admiral Oaks: PASSES 6-3 (Paone, Stankivic, Shropshire).

R-04-09: Environmental Compliance Inspector: PASSES 8-1 (Stankvic)

FIRST READER PASSAGES:

O-04-09: Sandwich Board Signs
O-05-09: Invasive Plants
O-06-09: False Alarms
R-10-09: Fines For False Alarms
O-07-09: Compensation of Mayor And Aldermen
R-11-09: First Sundays 2009
R-12-09: March Madness Sidewalk Sale
R-13-09: Support of a Federal Carbon Tax and Dividend

Meeting ends at.......9:39 (ish).

4 comments:

Burren47 said...

Meeting ends at 10:48. For extra credit, I predict TWO pontifications on the part of Sam.

Anonymous said...

Fred is the latest in a long line of Ward 2 wafflers. It's hard to top Dean Johnson, but he may just do it. Too bad. First time he votes with Moyer and it has to be this.

Start the referendum petition tonight.

Brandon said...

I wasn't at the meeting last night, but reading from Brian's blog, Alderman Paone did not waffle. I would rather my representative weigh the merits and then decide rather than hold firmly to a position without considering alternatives.

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