"Take this out of context, then put that into the context of this out of context section of the city charter, and there you have it."
The other day I was listening to Vincent David Jericho's radio show on KSGF. I do that often. If that's enough to turn the reader off at the outset then excuse me if I fail to lose any sleep over someone else's personal problem (phhbbtthh). That's not what this post is about.
Vince mentioned a memo that was floating around City Hall. It didn't sound right to me and so I wrote it down so I could inquire about it later. Here is what I wrote down as quoted by Vincent David Jericho:
"Any information or material being sent to the Mayor and members of the City Council must be approved by the City Manager or the Assistant City Manager before it's sent to Council members."
I think I just figured something out. You see, when I asked for a copy of the memo, the city's Public Information Director told me she hoped I would
"provide the following context to this, which was to reaffirm the provision of the City Charter noted below.... :"
city council memo process
Section 2.8. Prohibition of interference
Neither the council nor any of its members shall direct or request the appointment of any person to, or his removal from, office by the city manager or by any of his subordinates, or in any way interfere with the appointment or removal of officers and employees in the administrative service of the city. Except for the purpose of inquiry, unless specifically otherwise provided in this Charter, the council and its members shall deal with the administrative officers and services solely through the city manager, and neither the council nor any member thereof shall give orders to the subordinates of the city manager, either publicly or privately. Any councilmember violating the provisions of this Section shall forfeit his office. Whether such violation has occurred shall be determined by the members of the council, and their decision shall be final. Approved by vote of the people April 1, 1986.
I have emphasized that particular verbage of Section 2.8 of the Charter to highlight the fact that the City has taken it out of its intended context to provide context to a wholly unrelated matter.
I cannot see that the sharing of information and materials between officers and employees in the administrative service of the city has anything to do with the intent of Section 2.8 of the Charter which is on the topic, when kept in context, of council members interfering with the appointment or removal of officers and employees in the administrative service of the city.
That's what this entry was about, just so you know. :)
Now, here is the entire memo, just as an FYI:
TO: Management Team
Management Team Secretaries
FROM: Evelyn Honea, Assistant City Manager
RE: Process for Sending Material/Information to Mayor and City Council
DATE: June 25, 2007
Any information or material being sent to the Mayor and members of City Council MUST be approved by the City Manager or Assistant City Manager BEFORE it is sent to Councilmembers.
To avoid confusion, please use the procedure outlined below:
1. Any memo or other information should be e-mailed to Evelyn Honea or Bob Cumley for approval. Please provide a hard copy if it is not possible to e-mail the material.
2. You will be notified of Bob/Evelyn's approval or asked to make changes. If asked to make changes, please resubmit the corrected material for approval.
3. Upon approval, please provide 13 copies to the City Manager's Office for distribution to Council. A member of the City Manager's staff will deliver the material to the Council mailboxes. (The 13 copies include: 9 for Mayor and Council, 1 for the media folder, 1 for the City Clerk, 1 for the City Manager, and 1 for the Assistant City Manager.)
4. Mail is only delivered to the Mayor and City Council on Wednesday afternoons at 4:00 p.m., prior to City Council meeting every other Monday night, and at Tuesday luncheons. Please keep this schedule in mind when communicating with Councilmembers.
Thank you for your cooperation and assistance with this process.
cc: Bob Cumley, City Manager
Brenda Cirtin, City Clerk
Anita Murphy Cotter, Assistant City Clerk