Monday, November 18, 2013

Update: Metro Council Nov. 19th Agenda analysis

This should be a short and boring meeting.

Council meetings are really boring if you don't know what the Council is voting on. With an agenda, they are still boring but not quite as boring. To follow along, you can get your own copy of the Metro council meeting agenda at this link: Metro Council Agenda.

The Council Staff Analysis is now available and can be downloaded at this link: Staff Analysis.

Confirmation of Appointment: There are ten appointments to boards and commission on the agenda. The council does not take its responsibility of confirming appointments seriously and always approves unanimously all of the mayor's appointments.

 Bill on public hearing: There is one bill on public hearing and it is for the Frothy Monkey located on 12th Avenue, which already has liquor license, to be allowed to have a beer license. I think the law should be changed, so that any place that has a liquor license can also qualify for a beer license without a public hearing.

Consent Agenda: There are thirteen 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. 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 it doesn't happen often. At this time, I see no resolutions that raise a red flag. This two resolution are of interest:
  • RESOLUTION NO. RS2013-915 is A resolution setting a public hearing for a proposed amendment to the Phillips Jackson Street Redevelopment Plan. This is a part of the Sulfur Dell Ball Park deal. This has to pass in order to have tax increment financing available for the project.
  • RESOLUTION NO. RS2013-918 appropriates Ten Million Dollars from the undesignated fund balance of the General Fund to the Pension Fund for the purpose of reducing the Metropolitan Government’s unfunded pension liability. This is routine and appropriate.
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. Unless a bill is ridiculously atrocious it should be passed on first reading. 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 two bills on first reading concerning the Sulfur Dell ball park. There are twelve 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 ten bills on second reading. I do not see any controversial bills.

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 fifteen bills on third reading. None of them appear controversial.

Memorializing Resolutions: There are two harmless memorizing resolutions on this agenda. Unless someone objects they will be added to the consent agenda and passed as group with other resolutions. One of the memorializing resolutions honors BURNT on its 25th Anniversary. Headed by Bruce Woods, BURNT should get much of the credit for closing down the old downtown garbage-burning transfer plant. That was a battle that raged for years.

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