Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Video, summary of Council meeting of 8/20/2013 with commentary

To link to the agenda, staff analysis and my commentary follow this link.

This meeting is an hour long.  When you let just anything pass unanimously you can have some short meetings. 

Councilman Chris Harman is elected President Pro Tem of the Council. He is unopposed. President Pro Tem conducts the council meetings in the absence of the Vice Mayor.

Councilman Walter Hunt is elected unopposed to Chair the Planning Zoning and Historical Committee of the Council. This is one of the few council committees in which the Chair is elected by the body. Most committee chairmen are picked by the Vice Mayor. This gives him a seat on the Planning Commission.

Councilman Frank Harrison is elected unopposed to Chair the Traffic and Parking Committee of the Council. That also gives him a seat on the Traffic and Parking Commission.

Confirmation of Mayor's appointees to Boards and Commissions: All appointee's are approved except for one which was differed and no explanation was given why the one appointee was deferred.  Most likely the appointee was absent. The council does not take seriously the task of confirming appointees and just rubber stamps whom ever the Mayor appoints. The appointees views and qualifications are never questioned.

Council member Gilmore recognizes Dr. Lawson a civil rights leader from the 60's. (See 13:45)

The Consent Agenda:
All of the resolutions except for one memorializing resolution are on the consent agenda.

Included on the consent agenda was the Gilmore resolution expressing the will of the Council opposing sequestration, any budget cuts and calling for raising taxes on the rich and the raising corporate income tax. I am  totally disgusted that no one, even the so called conservatives and self identified Republicans on the Council voted against this resolution . To read my more detailed commentary and to read the actual resolution follow this link: Council passes unanimously a bill urging no budget cut and more taxes!

Resolutions are put on the consent agenda if they pass the committee to which they were assigned unanimously and if no one ask to have them removed.

Resolutions not on the Consent Agenda:  Resolution 665 establishes a "Residential Caucus."  I do not see the logic of this at all. This would be the full council since everyone serves residents. The rules committee voted against it 5-2. The sponsor defers it indefinitely after making a plea for it . (see 19:50-25:27).

Bills on First Reading: First reading is an introduction of a bill and bills are not referred to committee until they pass first reading. All bills on First Reading are considered as group and usually are not discussed. However, in a highly unusual move,  BILL NO. BL2013-523 is pulled and considered separately.

This is an absolutely terrible bill that would establish a Community Benefits Agreement which would establish quotas for hiring and establish "competitive wages" be paid on construction projects that involve metro. The administration would not sign off of the bill as to the availability of funds saying they could not determine the cost and saying there were legal problems with the bill. The bill passes by voice vote.  That vote should not to taken to mean that most council members support the bill.  Some may have voted for it simply to respect the tradition of the Council and let the bill move forward. (See 26:30-32:35)

Bills on Second Reading:

Bill Number BL2013-517 is the racial and female set aside bill for construction projects involving metro.  It passes on voice vote. This is a bad bill that should have been defeated. If I would have been in the Council, I would have asked to be recorded as voting "no".  On the request of five Council members, a roll call vote can be taken. Why did they not demand a roll call machine vote?  I am more disgusted with the self identified Republicans on the Council with each passing day.  I see absolutely no point in electing self identified Republicans or conservatives if they will not take a stand. (see 32:40-36:25)
Bills on Third Reading: 
Bill BL2012-103  to rezone some property in Antioch to allow an asphalt plant Councilman Dominy does a good job explaining the bill. It passes 30 yes, 4 no, 2 abstention. (see 39:30-47:55)


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