Sunday, June 16, 2013

What's on the Council Agenda for June 18th analysis and summary

You can get your own copy of the Metro council meeting agenda at this link: Metro Council Agenda. You can find the analysis at this link: Metro Council Agenda Analysis. Council meetings can be really, really boring if you don't know what the Council is voting on. With an agenda and analysis, they are just boring. This should be a short meeting.

Confirmation of Appointments: We have a strong mayor form of government and the Council has limited means to impact government. One of the powers that the Council does have is the power to approve or reject the Mayor's appointments to boards and commissions. This is power that the Council almost never exercises; instead it rubber stamps the Mayor appointments without questioning the appointees of their position on issues or suitability for the appointment. I wish the Council would exercise this power.

There is one person being appointed to the Farmers Market and one to the Fair Board. I wish that someone would question the appointee to the Farmers Market Board and get assurances he thinks the Farmers Market should follow the law and that he would be aggressive in cleaning up the mess at Farmers Market and make the entity self supporting and improve management practices. I would hope someone would ask the appointee to the Fair Board if he supports keeping the fairgrounds.

There are three reappointments and one new appointment to the Human Relations Commission. This is an agency whose purpose is to promote political correctness and a liberal agenda. There is little they do that either needs to be done by government or could not be done by another agency. One thing the HRC does is sponsor the Youth Pavilion at the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Festival (link). This annual event occurred this past weekend. I wish the appointees would be asked if they think this is proper role for government. If they do, I would vote against them. I would like for all appointees to be rejected until at least half of the 17 members of the HRC are moderate to conservative. We have atheist, gays and left wing activist on the board. It would be nice to have some normal people. Here are the appointees.

  • Reappointment of Mr. Mark Baugh for a term expiring April 18, 2016. 
  • Appointment of Mr. Johnathan Giles for a term expiring April 18, 2016. 
  • Reappointment of Ms. Alistair Newbern for a term expiring April 18, 2016. 
  • Reappointment of Mr. Don Peterson for a term expiring April 18, 2016.

There are no bills on public hearing.

There are eighteen resolutions all of which are on the consent agenda at this time. A resolution is put on the consent agenda if it is likely to be non-controversial and it stays on the consent agenda if it passes the committees to which it was assigned unanimously. Bills on the consent agenda are usually not controversial and tend to be routine matters, such as accepting grants from the Federal or State Government or authorizing the Department of Law to settle claims against the city or appropriating money from the 4% fund. Resolutions on the consent agenda are passed by a single vote of the Council rather than being considered individually. However, any member of the body may have a bill pulled off of the consent agenda but I don't expect that to happen.

The only resolution that may be controversial is RESOLUTION NO. RS2013-725 which approves a sole source contract with a company for maintenance and support services for the election commission’s existing voter registration system. Sole source contracts may be awarded when there is only one source for the product or service, however all sole source contracts over $250,000 must to be approved by the council by resolution. Someone may make an issue of this simply because of the controversies surrounding the Election Commission make the agency subject to greater scrutiny.

There is a late resolution (RESOLUTION NO. RS2013-743) that extends the free parking programs for environmentally friendly vehicles and for vehicle owners that purchase carbon offsets. I would vote against it if I were in the Council. There are a lot of other people more deserving of free parking than someone with enough money to afford an environmentally friendly vehicle. The reason this bill is being considered as a late resolution is because the program sunsets unless extended by July 1. It take unanimous consent to consider a late resolution. I hope someone withholds their consent.

Bills on First reading almost always pass. They are considered as a group and are seldom discussed. First reading is a formality that allows the bill to be considered. Bills are not assigned to committee or analyzed by council staff until after they have passed first reading. I have not carefully reviewed the bills on first reading, but will before second reading. There are fourteen bills on first reading.

Bills on Second Reading: It is on Second reading, after bills have been to committee, that discussion usually takes place. There are eleven bills on second reading. None of them seem terribly important and most of them are for the purchasing of easement. Below are a couple of interest.

  • ORDINANCE NO. BL2013-433 would require that all fees collected for having an extra garbage cart be used for recycling. Why should recycling have a designated source of funding? Funding for recycling should be subject to the Mayor's and Council's budgetary process just like everything else. 
  • ORDINANCE NO. BL2013 makes it easier to "boot" your car and raises the fee booting companies can charge. Bills on Third Reading: Third Reading is the final reading. If a bill passes third reading it becomes law unless it is vetoed by the Mayor, which has only rarely happened. There are only four bills on third reading and they are not significant and I don't expect any of them to generate controversy.

There is one memorializing resolution, but it is not controversial.

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