Monday, September 3, 2012

Update: What's on the Council Agenda for September 4th.

The new September 4, 2012 Metro Council meeting agenda is now available. You can find the agenda at the link: Metro Council AgendaThere is not much of interest on the agenda this time. I would not expect any fireworks.

From the agenda you can link to the 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 really boring. I read the analysis and agenda for you so you don't have to. Below are the things that I think are worth being aware of that are on this agenda.

There is a public hearing of a bill on the Agenda that would amend the backyard chicken bill (ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-228). Don't be alarmed. All it would do is allow would allow hens to be kept on school property for educational purposes without any limitation as to number. 

There are nine other bills on public hearing, but they should concern no one except those in the immediate vicinity of the proposed rezoning.

There are eleven ordinances on the consent agenda. None of them are controversial. 

  • One is a proposed charter amendment (RESOLUTION NO. RS2012-393) to rename the water department as the “Department of Watershed Management”. No big deal.  
  • RESOLUTION NO. RS2012-395 on the consent agenda  appropriates $8,745,000 to various departments from the 4% fund. Four percent funds may only be used for the purchase of equipment and repairs to buildings. If a department is not being responsive to a Councilman's concern, holding up 4% funds can be a good way to get a department heads attention.  $8 million dollars is a lot of money, and I would hope the budget and finance committee and the other committee's are getting full disclosure of how the money is being spent. 
ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-237 on second reading would reform Metro's employee and retiree benefits and pensions, essentially making these expenditures less generous and save Metro money. This looks like a good bill that needs to pass.

ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-215, on third reading, by Councilman Stites prohibits the use of Metro funds to purchase or erect signs that identify the name of an elected or appointed official passes. This is a good bill. Unfortunately, it is amended to exempt infrastructure signs. Infrastructure signs are those that are erected naming the Mayor and district Councilmen when, for instance, a section of sewer is replaced or a sidewalk is built. This bill needs to pass but the Mayor and district council members should not be exempt from the bill. No elected officials should get free adverting at taxpayers' expense.  

BILL NO. BL2012-218 by Councilmen Hunt and McGuire on third reading would authorize a temporary reduction of sewer charges for customers who install green roofs on buildings within the combined sewer area. On August 21st when the bill was on Second reading the bill was amended that made the credit available only for privately-owned properties. As amended, this is a good bill. 

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