Thursday, August 09, 2007

The City Council needs to appoint an investigator, per City Charter Section 2.15

I've been sleuthing around the Springfield City Charter, you know, since some people like to pull it out like it's a gun to silence questions? Anyway, I'll bet you didn't know about Section 2.15. Investigator:

The council may appoint an investigator who shall serve for such term as the council may prescribe. He shall be a certified public accountant or a person specially trained and experienced in governmental or business investigation or administration. His duty shall be to keep the council informed as to the work performed, methods, and financial affairs of the city. He shall not be responsible for the keeping of accounts. He shall make such investigations of the work of all departments of the city and such reports to the council as it shall require. He shall make such other investigations as the council may direct. He shall have access to all books and records of all departments of the city. If the council desires, he shall certify to the correctness of any or all financial reports before the same shall be regarded as official.

What say you, Council? I like the idea of having an investigator who can march into any office in the city, ask any question, examine any book and tell it like it is to the council.

Deputy City Manager Honea doesn't like the idea of anyone talking to Council without first running it by her or City Manager Cumley. There's a way to deal with that. Appoint an independent investigator, the investigator will have the power to find out anything you'd like to find out.

This isn't to say that I think it was necessary to stifle and chill communications between the council and employees of the city, but an investigator would take away even a shadow of a doubt as to the right of the council to be privy to any and ALL matters of the city and to be privy to that information BEFORE it goes through the filter of the City Manager, the Deputy City Manager or the Assistant City Manager. I would hope that council would choose their investigator wisely.

I'm not going to stop reading the Charter until I read the whole dang thing. I'll let you know if I come across any other interesting little factoids.

The City Manager answers to the the Council, not vice versa. Sometimes I wonder if both the Council and the City Manager need to be reminded of that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, we need an investigator for at least a few months.

or simply have our top notch city staff answer 20 questions or so in writing, with the understanding of perjury.

We could list the questions here...