Monday, June 3, 2013

Tuesday's Council Meeting (Unlawfully) Cancelled [UPDATE]

The City Council discussed many interesting issues at last Wednesday's workshop meeting, including the Bernstein Ordinance. A summary will be posted soon.

However, anyone interested in following up on those issues or presenting anything to the Council will have to wait until next month because the June 4 meeting was recently cancelled. According to the City website, Tuesday's meeting was cancelled because there are "no agenda items to present."

Regardless of whether there are any agenda items to present, this cancellation is in clear violation of the below Belle Isle ordinance:

Sec. 2-51. - Time, date, place for regular meetings.
(a)
Established. The city council shall hold its regular meeting at city hall on the first Tuesday of each and every month commencing at such time as the council may prescribe by rule.
(b)
Change. The time, date or place of holding the regular meetings may be changed by a majority vote of the city council; provided, however, that such vote must be taken at a lawful meeting of the city council, and notice of such change of time, place or date of such meeting must be posted at city hall for at least three working days prior to the time the meeting is actually held.

This ordinance clearly prohibits cancellation of regular Council meetings. While the date or time may be changed, such changes must be done by a Council majority at a lawful Council meeting. There was no Council vote to reschedule at last Wednesday's meeting or any prior meeting.

What do you think of City Hall's latest attempt to evade resident interaction and inquiry? Is this cancellation part of Mayor Brooks' plan to improve transparency at City Hall?

UPDATE 6/4/2013:  Like so many times before, City Hall has failed to use it's "e-lert" email notification system to communicate important information to residents. The City gave residents no notice, unless they happened to check the City's calendar. Since City Council meetings follow a regular schedule which cannot be modified except in a public forum, residents had absolutely no reason to check for such a cancellation.

Many residents have noted that it doesn't matter whether or not the Council had any agenda items to address. City Council meetings are residents' only chance each month to publicly address the Mayor and the Council. This is why monthly Council meetings are mandatory and may not be rescheduled except through a public vote.

Cancellation of this meeting is unacceptable - not to mention illegal - and it demonstrates that the Mayor Brooks' strong words about transparency were merely lip service.


8 comments:

  1. Thank you for keeping us informed on what City Hall is doing (or not doing). It is very apparent they don't know the rules or more likely they think they don't have to abide by the rules because they have never been held accountable.
    Do you think we have any ethics violations?

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  2. Having a meeting just for the sake of having a meeting is not productive in any forum; however, it seems odd that there are no important issues to discuss for the residents in Belle Isle. An update on what is being done regarding the rash of crime (break-ins) would be an interesting topic. Thank you for the update.....

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  3. Thanks for the update. Though there may have been "no agenda items to present" is that the only function of the scheduled meeting? Where do new agenda items generate?

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  4. Why didn't the lawyer who sits in with the Council advise them or advise the person who decided to cancel the meeting they were not allowed to cancel it . What is that person's job? Why don't the members of the Council know the rules/laws of Belle Isle? Since part of the meeting is to allow the general population of B.I. to address concerns how do they know there "is no agenda to present"?!

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  5. Wonder if tonight's 6pm graduation ceremony at Cornerstone Charter Academy has anything to do with cancellation? Surely this event was scheduled some time ago. CCA Governing Board of Directors is comprised of our Mayor, City Manager and four Council Members. Hmmm...obvious conflict if they want to attend.

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  6. Most of the commissioners have probably never read the city ordinances or charter. They don't have to know about all that in order to be puppets of Mayor Brooks. And get real. Mayor Brooks cannot even consistently add 1+0 without getting 4 as his answer. So seriously, what can we expect?

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  7. I was not at the workshop, but I heard the Mayor allowed public comment. Perhaps he knew then there was a possibility that they would be canceling the Council meeting. Cornerstone did hold a graduation ceremony this evening. I believe the speaker was Pat Williams. I don't believe there was a conscious effort to avoid discussing the Bernstein Ordinance (this time). I just think they wanted to celebrate with some of our own seniors. It is a shame that there was a conflict and even more so that the decision resulted in a violation of the law. Poor judgement, poor planning. But, who is going to do anything about it? When you are the City government, you can wield and bend the law however it conveniences you. Thankfully, the football games are on Friday night, or we may have to change the law!

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  8. Do the citizens have any recourse? This is just another example of a long list of abuses of power by the mayor, city manager and other elected officials. Why didn't they use their "e-alert" system to notify the residents? I don't believe anything that the mayor says.
    It is time for a change.

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