Friday, August 29, 2014

Here are the letters: In a pointed exchange, Tygard and Neighbors address the Vice Mayor kicking Tygard off of Budget and Finance.

Vice Mayor Neighbors
 Earlier this week Vice Mayor Neighbors made committee appointments for the coming year and Councilman Charlie Tygard was not reappointed to Budget and Finance. In my view Charlie Tygard is one of the best members of B&F. I watch most of the Budget and Finance Committee meetings and Charlie Tygard always ask probing questions and makes the Director of Finance or whatever other city official is promoting a bill, explain in detail the impact of any particular proposal.  Sometimes city finance can be complicated.  Councilman Tygard keeps asking questions until what is being proposed is understood. He will not let city official get by with weasel words and generalities.

Charlie Tygard is also one of the most experienced members of the Metro Council.  Term limits, which I think was a mistake and which I did not support, has resulted in a relatively inexperienced Council and has shifted power from the Council to the Mayor and the bureaucracy.  Councilman Tygard is serving his second term as a Councilman-at-large and served several terms as a district councilman.  He has been around long enough to understand how government works. He is the voice of experience on the B&F committee and he is a common sense fiscal conservative who does not want to let the Metro Government over commit itself or engage in risky financial practices.

Councilman Tygard
This failure to reappoint Charlie Tygard to the B&F committee has resulted in Tygard threatening to ask the tough questions from the floor that he would normally ask in Committee. Vice Mayor neighbors does not like that.  She wants the Council meeting to move along at a fast clip and all discussion to take place in committee and the Council to rely upon the recommendations of the committees. 

Here is a copy of the exchanges between the Vice Mayor and the Tygard. The Vice Mayor's letter was to the whole council and then Tygard responded to the Vice Mayor and copied the whole council.

I am not posting the attachment, but if you want to see the complete committee assignments, follow this link. Below is Tygard response.

From: Charlie Tygard 
Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 11:18 AM
To: 'Hayes, Roseanne (Council Office)'; 'Council Members'
Cc: 'Neighbors, Diane (Vice Mayor)'; 'Cooper, Jon (Council Office)'
Subject: RE: 2014-2015 Committee List

Vice Mayor Neighbors –
Just so every Council Member understands that this letter is referring to me, I want to address your comments.
I plan to attend every committee meeting of committees I am assigned to. Since you have chosen not to re-appoint me to the Budget & Finance Committee in my final year of Council, and after 12+ years of faithful attendance on this committee, I can only assume that my questions in committee about Metro’s finances were deemed unimportant to you.
I do intend to ask any and all pertinent questions I feel are necessary before spending one dime of taxpayer money. Since I am no longer serving on that committee, I will ask these questions during the Council meeting, if necessary.
And I would remind you that I have always indicated that my expertise to the Council was in two primary areas – financial and parks. Up until this point, you have always respected this request. I was frankly taken aback when receiving my assignments for this year.
It is certainly your prerogative to appoint members of committees as you seem proper. It is my prerogative to ask any and all questions relating to items on the agenda.
Charlie Tygard
I hope Charlie Tygard sticks to his guns. It won't matter if meetings run a little longer.  I can only assume that either the Mayor's office or maybe the Vice Mayor herself did not like someone asking tough  questions.  The tough questions need to be asked.

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