Monday, August 5, 2013

UPdate: What's on the Council Agenda for August 6 with analysis and summary

You can get your own copy of the Metro council meeting agenda at this link: Metro Council Agenda.The Council staff analysis is not yet posted. When it is I will post the link to it and update this post. You can get your copy of the Council staff analysis at this link: Staff 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 boring. Updates are highlighted.

Confirmation of Appointment
There are only three appointees to Boards and Commission on the agenda, but it wouldn't matter if there were fifty, because our rubber-stamp Council would unanimously approve them all anyway. The Council never turns down a Mayor's appointee and the Council never examines the appointee's qualifications or questions their views.

Bills on public hearing. There are nine bills on public hearing and they are all local zoning bills and not of general interest.  

Resolutions on the Consent Agenda:

There are twenty-one resolutions, all of which are on the consent agenda at this time.
A resolution is put on the consent agenda if it is likely to be non-controversial and it stays on the consent agenda if it passes the committees to which it was assigned unanimously. Bills on the consent agenda are usually not controversial and tend to be routine matters, such as accepting grants from the Federal or State Government or authorizing the Department of Law to settle claims against the city or appropriating money from the 4% fund. Resolutions on the consent agenda are passed by a single vote of the Council rather than being considered individually. However, any member of the body may have a bill pulled off of the consent agenda but I don't expect that to happen. Some really terrible stuff slips though on the consent agenda sometimes. I don't see any think I would expect to be pulled. Here are some of the more interesting items.
  • RESOLUTION NO. RS2013-787 approves the Ice Rink Intergovernmental Agreement. This is part of the plan to indebt the city to the tune of $15 million in order to build a hockey rink at the site of the failed Hickory Hollow mall, now know as  global Mall. Last council meeting the Council approved the funding, without objection. I question if we can afford this.  Next time we are facing a tax increase, know that this expenditure passed without opposition. 
  • RESOLUTION NO. RS2013-800 accepts some incomplete infrastructure. Normally, when a developer builds or expands a subdivision, he builds the sewers, roads, storm sewers, sidewalks, curbs and gutters then gives those to Metro. He must put up a bond to assure he completes the plan as approved.With the housing downturn, some developers went bust and infrastructure was never completed.I think the city is right to accept it and take responsibility for completing it. I hope the city has increased the bonding requirement however, so we are not left holding the bag in the future. I don't know if we have or not.
  • Resolution RS2013-804 authorized the city to pay up to $50,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by Les "Bud" Buckner, an employee of the Water Department. He sued the city for maintaining a hostile work environment.  He was allegedly the target of anti-gay graffiti which had been scrawled in vehicle bays and other places at his place of work. Know one knows who did it, so no one has been punished. As a result of this, Water department employees are going to have to go through training on how to avoid creating a hostile work environment.
Bills on First reading.
Bills on First reading almost always pass. They are considered as a group and are seldom discussed. First reading is a formality that allows the bill to be considered. Bills are not assigned to committee or analyzed by council staff until after they have passed first reading.I have not carefully reviewed all the bills on first reading, but will before second reading. There are ten bills on first reading. I do not fault anyone for letting a bad bill get on the agenda, so I don't criticize someone for votes cast on first reading. One bill on first reading, that needs to be defeated now or when it gets to second reading is BILL NO. BL2013-517 which establishes a permanent minority set aside program for any project involving metro "participation."

Bills on Second Reading:
It is on Second reading, after bills have been to committee, that discussion usually takes place. There are only five bills on second reading. None of them seem terribly important.

Bills on Third Reading: Third Reading is the final reading. If a bill passes third reading it becomes law unless it is vetoed by the Mayor, which has only rarely happened. There are fourteen bills on third reading and I don't expect any of them to generate controversy.

  • There are a couple zoning bills that generated some opposition in the past. One rezones some property in Antioch to allow an asphalt plant . (ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-103.) This bill was first introduced in Feb. 2012 and was deferred for months.
  • Another bill is one in Woodbine that would allow a tire recapper to expand his business and use what is now a residential zoned property for parking. (ORDINANCE NO. BL2013-353). This was a bill that was disapproved by the Planning Commission.
  • SUBSTITUTE BILL NO.BL2013-476 makes it easier to "boot" your car and raises the fee booting companies can charge.

There are two memorializing resolutions.
Memorializing resolutions are usually not controversial and these are not. The memorializing resolutions will become part of the consent agenda.

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