Friday, August 10, 2007

City Council Agenda Item of Interest: Council Bill 2007-241

I have a lot of questions about this bill. I first wrote about it here.

It was a consent agenda, first reading bill on the July 30, 2007 City Council Agenda and, after going through some changes in the last couple of weeks, is now positioned to sail through passage on the consent agenda at the August 13, 2007 City Council meeting.

When it was first read, City Attorney, Dan Wichmer, and City Manager, Bob Cumley, wrote that the Attorney General would have to interpret the phrase... :

"Candidates for City Council, the Mayor and Members of the City Council, the City Manager, the Purchasing Agent, the City Attorney and ALL officials and employees who are authorized by the governing body to promulgate rules and regulations within the force of law OR to vote on the adoption of rules and regulation with the force of law." (emphasis mine)

...before they could determine the intended scope (who was covered) under this phrase to disclose... :

"...any business transaction with a political subdivision if the transaction is more than $500 per year for such person and with any member of their immediate family. The chief administrative law officer and the purchasing officer must disclose the names and addresses of anybody else with whom they are employed and the names of the businesses they own."

...but apparently (?) they didn't seek the Attorney General's interpretation, instead they offered their own interpretation for endorsement by the Council. I'm assuming they did NOT contact his office because they offer their own interpretation rather than his.


Why didn't they contact the Attorney General's office for clarification?


Why offer to clarify it before seeking the Attorney General's interpretation?


Why did they list what the City Manager and the City Purchasing Agent would be required to disclose separate from the other entities, including the City Attorney, covered under the law? (Later, the bill states that the others are covered under the ordinance as well, but are the others required only to disclose the information listed as subject to disclosure by the City Manager and Purchasing Agent or will the others be subject to disclosing information that goes beyond what is listed as subject to disclosure by the City Manager and Purchasing Agent? Are they trying to limit what the City Manager and Purchasing Agent are required to disclose? Or, are the others exempt from disclosing the items described as being required for disclosure by the City Manager and Purchasing Agent?)

If anyone can shed any further light on this confusing ordinance and its applicable meaning, your comments are welcome here.


Anonymous said...

I am sure with the coming audit / fraud-it due out soon, those involved want to change the interpretation of the City Charter so their little mafia organization can continue.

Why is Cumley/ Carlson/ law dept seeking clarification on that issue now ??? Unless they do not like the way it is CLEARLY DAMN WRITTEN. It looks like they want to bury the issue so it cannot be voted on separately. Help Cindy Rus !!

Anonymous said...

Why not have Cumley, Carlson, Finnie and Hammons re-write the City Charter and then submit it for
approval with a dozen other items?.

It probably was not written correctly in the first place.

Anonymous said...

What is the present status of this now after the last council meeting ??

Jackie Melton said...

Doug Burlison had it removed from the consent agenda. It was placed under second reading bills, then questioned by Doug Burlison. Burlison asked why it included the language about the Atty Gen. needing to interpret it. The City Clerk responded that it was basically the same bill that is passed every other year (as required by the state), that it keeps council from having to file a long, involved report every year, or something to that effect, sorry I can't be more specific about her complete answer right now, I haven't really thought much more about it yet. It passed unanimously after being questioned.

I am doing some more checking into this, to see if I am correct that it replaced section 2.8. Prohibition of interference. I'll update it when I find out. If it does, I have another question or two. I'm not ruling out the possibility that I am mistaken and didn't understand that properly, though there is only one Section 2.8 in the charter, in the bill (241) it is written section 2-8, rather than 2.8, so....we'll see.

Are you aware that you can view the council meetings on line? Not that I mind answering your questions, but it's a resource many people don't realize is available.

Here is the link: