Bever Moves To Limit Transparency
In a surprise move, an item was added to the Consent Calendar of the City Council meeting agenda for next Tuesday's meeting late in the day Friday, assuming, perhaps that nobody would notice. WRONG! You may recall, Consent Calendar items may be voted upon as a group unless a member of the council or public pulls an item for separate discussion. I can guarantee you that this item will get "separate discussion"!
IF APPROVED, WILL STIFLE FREE SPEECH
The item in question, "Modification of the Order of Business for the City Council Agenda", HERE, will, if enacted, make it much more difficult for residents to present their views to the City Council and to hear plans for the near and distant future from CEO Tom Hatch.
BEVER - COUNCIL MORE IMPORTANT THAN RESIDENTS
This move, suggested by new/old part-time, part-time Mayor Eric Bever, moves Council Members' Reports, Comments and Suggestions from the end of the agenda to the front, immediately following Special Presentations. Public Comments and the City CEO Report will be shoved out to the end of the agenda following New Business. The report from the City Attorney will be the final item on the agenda.
ARROGANCE OF POWER CODIFIED
According to the Staff Report, "This modification will allow the City Council to get to the critical items of the day and provide further clarification to the public regarding current events taking place within the community." In other words, the council's "work" is more important than anything the residents have to say, so make them wait until the very end of the meeting if they want to yap about something.
NEW ORDER OF BUSINESS
If this move is adopted as proposed the order of business on future agendas will read as follows:
- Closed session (as needed)
- Pledge of Allegiance
- Moment of Solemn Expression
- Roll Call and Call to Order
- Closed Session Reports
- Special Presentations
- Council Members' Reports, Comments and Suggestions
- Consent Calendar
- Public Hearings
- Old Business
- New Business
- Public Comments
- CEO Report
- City Attorney Report
In my opinion, this is a load of crap! It clearly demonstrates the disdain Bever has for the residents of this city and for the process by which they are able to address grievances to their elected (and appointed) leaders and to hear the plans for the future of the city by the CEO. If the four male members of the council vote to support this - Wendy Leece will almost certainly vote against this outrageous move - it will be one more reason why the residents of this city should feel very uncomfortable about how these men do business.
COUNCIL - WE'RE MORE IMPORTANT
This move shows us that the majority on this council feel that THEY are more important than the constituents they are supposed be serving. However, that concept - serving - is an alien concept to at least a couple of them. Those of us who have been watching for a little while know that Bever doesn't accept criticism well. As has been widely reported, recently he responded to a recent critic with the following comment, "If you don't like it, tough luck!" Well, it is, indeed, our "tough luck" to have this petulant buffoon sitting in the big chair now.
RECALL? - "TOUGH LUCK"
Those angry about this might think, "Well, why don't we recall this guy?" Again, it's our "tough luck" because, according to the state government code, there is insufficient time between now and when his term expires the end of this year to mount a recall effort. So, we're stuck with him for nine more months and I've got a strong feeling that we're going to be feeling like a pregnant woman in the fall and can hardly wait to get it over with. Heck, he's already giving me morning sickness and he's only been in office since last Tuesday!
KIDS WILL HAVE TO VIOLATE CURFEW!
As I've said many times, you just can't take your eyes off these guys for a split second. Council watchers know that most meetings over the past couple years have gone late into the night - many past midnight. That means folks interested in addressing non-agenda items with the council will have to bring a pillow and pack a lunch if they plan to stick it out. That means that the many young people - high-schoolers - who have recently addressed the council on a variety of issues like banning Styrofoam containers from restaurants, will have to violate city curfew laws if they want to do so in the future.
REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER
This move is only the most recent of many by the majority on this council that demonstrate very clearly that they don't really care what the people think - they are going to do what THEY want to do, period. I can only hope the voters of this city remember this kind of stuff in November, when three seats on the council are up for grabs.