Well, the video archive of Tuesday/Wednesday council meeting is finally up and available for viewing. There were significant computer problems that kept it from being uploaded promptly. You can watch it HERE if you wish.
BY POPULAR DEMAND
While watching this recording is an interesting exercise, it is more than five and half hours long. I gave you my take on the meeting yesterday. However, some folks have been insistent that they be able to view what I referred to as Jim Righeimer's meltdown. So, I've carved it out for your viewing pleasure below, but I need to provide you with a preamble.
A SIMPLE TRANSACTION
This video clip - it's about 9 minutes long - comes at a point in the meeting where the mid-year budget review is taking place. Director of Finance and Information Technology, Bobby Young, presented what amounted to a short-hand version of the numbers since the council had already had a lengthy presentation at an earlier study session. The culmination of this presentation was the request by staff - Young - for the council to approve the transfer of money from the General Fund into the Self Insurance Fund because legal bills are being racked up at an unanticipated rate due to hiring one of the most expensive law firms around - Jones Day - to work the lawsuit filed by employees against the City. This is really just a matter of taking money out of one pocket and putting it into another, then paying the legal bills out of that pocket. Pretty simple, yet an essential bookkeeping function. Without that transfer, when the Self Insurance Fund is depleted the City would, technically, not be able to pay Jones Day. The thought of that makes me smile just a teeny bit.
BOGUS 5-YEAR FORECAST
Anyhow, Righeimer had just finished a mini-rant about how we need to "take care" of things - infrastructure improvements in particular. He cited the 5-Year Forecast spreadsheet that was created a few weeks ago. You can read that spreadsheet HERE. You can also read the Vacant Positions document that they referred to HERE. You will recall that, at the time, I observed that they were just plucking numbers out of the air and plugging them into slots in the spreadsheet. I told you then that somewhere along the way Righeimer would use those numbers - most of which were not arrived at by any kind of analysis - as gospel and demand that the staff created a budget to meet those numbers. Well, that's precisely what he did late Tuesday night. He used those bogus numbers as the foundation for his larger rant following the vote.
In this video clip you will see the vote taken which resulted in a 2-2 tie. You will recall that former mayor Gary Monahan was absent from this meeting. His presence would have broken the tie. That meant the vote failed and the transfer of funds could not take place. It was actually pretty funny to watch in person because Steve Mensinger was clueless about how the vote turned out. He was sure Righeimer had voted for the issue. Leece voted no, citing her displeasure with funding the legal fees that she thought were excessive.
Then Righeimer began his rant. He was like an infant with colic. Listen to him say he's not going to vote on anything anymore. He demanded that Hatch come back with a plan for tax increases to cover the "$12 million". Well, that $12 million is the bogus number from the spreadsheet. The foundation of his rant is based on a fabricated document. But then, that's his modus operandi - create a crisis to fit his goals.
DEMANDS "ADULT SUPERVISION"
One of the great ironies was him, at about 5:20 on the tape, demand some "adult supervision up here". That, coming from a guy in the midst of an infantile display of petulance. I'm not sure why Righeimer threw his hissy fit, as my grandmother used to call these kinds of displays of immaturity. I'm sure he's frustrated because his takeover of our government isn't going as he planned. That's good news for the rest of us.
HATCH "SAVE" REJECTED
Near the end of the clip you'll see CEO Tom Hatch try to salvage the situation, but his overture was rejected. When this item was complete I saw Young gather his paperwork and leave the dock looking like a man who had been shot by a taser! Watch the clip...
FROM THE MOUTHS OF BABES...
In stark contrast was the outstanding, mature presentation by young Jacob Serber. This roughly 100 second clip shows us why there is still hope for this community.