Saturday, March 17, 2012

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"!

The item in question, "Modification of the Order of Business for the City Council Agend
a", 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.


This move, su
ggested 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.


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.

If this mo
ve 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
  • Announcements
  • Special Presentations
  • Council Members' Reports, Comments and Suggestions
  • Consent Calendar
  • Public Hearings
  • Old Business
  • New Business
  • Public Comments
  • CEO Report
  • City Attorney Report
  • Adjournment
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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

We can be sure Bever didn't do this by himself. Didn't he chide Wendy for putting forth a proposal in a public meeting without first conferring with other Council members to make sure there was support for her proposal? The contempt he has shown for his fellow Council member is obviously matched by his contempt for his fellow citizens -- and for the law.

3/17/2012 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Bever is the perfect puppet for Righeimer because he's recall- proof AND termed out.

If Riggy had promoted himself to "Chancellor," it would have put his bad ideas and behavior squarely in the spotlight and under extra scrutiny.

This way, Mr. ToughLuck will be the political condom for Righeimer's acts upon the city.

3/17/2012 04:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

Since it's so outrageous, maybe it's just stylized kabuki theater.

Here's the script: Eric proposes something terrible; then Gary and Steve (both running this Fall, presumably) rise to the defense of "the people"; it gets voted down; and the candidates look like heroes to their grateful subjects.

It’s safe for Eric to take the role of the fall guy, because he’s termed out this year

Nice and neat. Then the curtain falls.

3/17/2012 04:13:00 PM  
Anonymous tufflove said...

...and matched by contempt of the usual speakers, zero sum game

3/17/2012 05:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Tough Luck said...

I didn't sign up for this!

3/18/2012 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...


Now there will be an entire army of concerned citizens waiting on these guys every minute of every meeting for the next nine months. January and green paper was mere dress rehearsal.

We are already ready.

3/18/2012 09:56:00 PM  
Blogger georgeg said...

Really? Just when you think these guys can't you any more upset! This is nothing less then an assault on our 1st Amendment rights. We are guaranteed the right to speak on political matters. By moving the time to so late in the evening this will limit participation and result fewer citizens at the meetings. Heck, that is probably their one of their goals. :(

3/19/2012 05:57:00 AM  
Anonymous grandmawait said...

I can see why the usual commentators will be upset but this is NOT an infringement on their rights to speak, they just have to wait for actual business to be carried out first. If I were an applicant or someone with other business before council I would welcome this news. Imagine sitting their for new business number one to come up and it comes up at nine PM. How frustrating. Also usual speakers are frequently spending half the time talking on an agenda item and then when told say "i am getting to something different"ala Brenneman. This way, they can talk on the agenda item sooner !! Face it, most coucil watchers are there to see action on agenda items, not see the usual speakers hog face time on tv under public comments. I know you all think you are witty and wanted but really this is about conducting business, not YOU. All in all, good move and another shiny object.

3/19/2012 09:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Waterboy said...

Thank you ET. How does Riggy's boot taste?

3/19/2012 11:04:00 AM  
Anonymous grandmawait said...

don't know waterboy but if that is your fetish go for it.

3/19/2012 09:23:00 PM  

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