Who sets the agenda? During this campaign I have stated that there is a distinction between the way I conduct business and how the City is doing it now. Let’s call it the way I would lead in pursuit of our goals. Currently, our elected leaders are not leading.
What follows is an extremely specific, recent example:
Earlier this week (October 13), I commented on the campaign Facebook page about a proposed change to parking regulations in the Heights – new development would provide less on-site parking. A poorly conceived downtown parking study was being used to justify a change in the Heights – you can’t make this stuff up.
That Council was considering changes to in-lieu parking fees is not what most concerned me. Alarming is that this was presented on what is called the Consent Agenda, meaning there would be no discussion – just a vote. How often is this happening?
More disturbing is that the Workshop Cover Sheet in the meeting packet (all on pages 2-4) falsely states that Council had directed staff to prepare this agenda item at the previous meeting.
I spoke at the beginning of the meeting to make the points I stated above, and others. Three Councilors agreed with me that this item should not have been on the Consent Agenda – Erick Haynie, Mark Zanmiller and Jessica Metta. Even though this subject was presented in a sneaky way, and no public testimony on the issue was considered, Mayor McBride and Councilors Saunders and Counihan were happy to proceed. The agenda item failed to get the four votes necessary to pass – for now.
This isn’t the only recent example of staff directing the path of important policy and using questionable means to justify it. Our type of city government gives power to the Mayor and City Council – staff is to execute on Council policy decisions, not the other way around. As voters, it is up to us to chose leaders to represent and pursue our will on important issues. Current leadership has been in power for some time and we continue to struggle with important City goals. The reason is apparent.
Who do you want to set the agenda? It is time to elect leaders willing to lead.