Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Update: Metro Council meeting 11/19/2013 with commentary and time stamp notation

This meeting is 1 hour and 16 minutes long, which is longer than I thought it would be. I was anticipating a short meeting. To access the agenda and the staff analysis follow this link. Council meeting are really, really boring if you don't know what the council is voting on.  With an agenda and analysis they are just boring.

All appointees to boards and commissions were approved unanimously as is the practice of the Council. I don't even know why the council bothers confirming appointments; they could just give the Mayor a rubber stamp.

Included in the confirmation of appointments were  five appointments by the mayor to a committee that will study the establishment of domestic benefits for same-sex partners of city employees. A majority of the council asked Dean to form the committee last month to study the issue. Included among the 26 Council members who signed the letter asking for the study was Councilman Tim Garrett, a Democrat but a person assumed to be a conservative Democrat, and Davette Blalock who is a Republican. I like both of these people and think that generally they are among the better councilmen, but I am disappointed in them for signing that letter.

The appointees to the study panel are Glen Farner, Lucia Folk, Debra Grimes, Ivanetta Davis Samuels and Michael Shmerling. These are some public minded citizens and talented people who are appointed to this committee. However, I would have vote "no" on all of them or at least asked to be recorded as abstaining. I know that I oppose giving benefits to same-sex couples. I would have not signed the letter asking the Mayor to study the issue and I would not vote to confirm appointments to a committee to study the issue. I am going to go out on a limb and predict the committee will come back with a recommendation to provide benefits to same-sex partners and I would not be surprised if it does not pass the Council unanimously.  If the Metro Council is going to extend benefits to gay domestic partners, why not to any two people who are in a relationship that involves living together and mingling of expenses. Why must they be assumed to be having same-sex, sex in order to qualify? It is the politically correct times in which we live where the highest value is not to be judgmental.

Resolution no RS2013-904 which authorize the payment of compensation to a special judge of General Sessions Court is deferred two meetings.(see 0:17:28) To see the discussion that took place at the Budget and Finance Committee meeting, follow this link and go to time stamp 0:03:40. It was discussed at length.

RESOLUTION NO. RS2013-918  which would appropriate $10 million dollars from the unappropriated fund balance to the Pension fund fails. Read more about it here and see time stamp 0:24:04 and follow this link and go to time stamp 0:48:17 to see the Budget and Finance Committee meeting discussion. This is a good bill and should have passed. Tygerd got the support of 15 of his colleagues. To see how they voted go to time stamp 0:31:09.

It is highly unusual that a bill is opposed on first reading. It is almost considered bad manners. The three bills concerning the Sulfur Dell Ball Park pass but are discussed. Councilman  Charlie Tygerd attempts to get the bills deferred for two meetings. Councilman Tennpenny and Councilman Manard have a heated exchange of comments. See time stamp 0:33:50.

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