City secrecy part three

Our city attorney seems to be the chief enabler of secrecy at city council meetings.

It seems that somehow she is also our city parliamentarian and is the one who should be enforcing the rules.

Back on July 6, 2013 Public confession told us about how in a discussion about agenda and backup posting rules our city attorney/parliamentarian told us “council wasn’t doing that anway”.

Whose fault is that?

We could say that the parliamentarian should have put a stop to it.  Then again the city attorney should have since at the time it was a violation of the city’s ethics ordinance.

Oops, that’s the same person.  One problem here is that the city attorney can be removed with the vote of the mayor and the majority of city council.  A city attorney might value his/her job more than their integrity.

Separate jobs

Don’t we deserve to have a separate parliamentarian or at least someone who sees to it that council obeys the law?  Maybe this is something that the Ad Hoc Charter Committee committee should take up.

Could we somehow have a city parliamentarian that is not beholding to city council for his/her job?

Why?

Another question is why the parliamentarian/city attorney allows  this to happen.

Secrecy is the most plausible answer to me.  Some seem to think that the voters should be kept in the dark.

We deserve better

Brutus

7 Responses to City secrecy part three

  1. synical hipster doosh says:

    Frankly, you people are just too stupid to offer anything to the discussion, and we’re too busy to entertain you. We’ve got this all figured out, and we’re looking out for you, as long as you’re just like us, fat and sassy and not too worried about the bills. Now just shut up already. This is why we don’t let you in on our secret meetings. You’re disruptive. You don’t understand that city government is here to serve us. Come on, people, GET WITH THE PROGRAM!!!

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  2. Helen Marshall says:

    A member of the attorney’s office sits with the Open Space Advisory Board and admonishes them as to what they can discuss, the apparent goal most of the time being to restrict the discussion. I imagine other advisory boards are similarly hemmed in.

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    • mamboman3 says:

      I was on another committee and got shot down a couple of times for trying to bring up an item as ‘new business,’ but the attorney said ‘you can’t because it’s not on the agenda.’ She didn’t give any opinions or advice at the meetings, saving it for “behind the scenes” most of the time, but she sure could shut a person up quick at a meeting with that ‘not on the agenda’ excuse. As for the parliamentarian role, I think they do a terrific job of “modifying” parliamentary procedure according to their own definitions which vary about as much as the people involved at the CC meetings. I know high schoolers who have a better knowledge of Robert’s Rules and could show that wannabe lawyer and city council a thing or two beginning with how to make a motion. There is a hidden agenda of keeping discussions tight and restricted so the people are left in the dark…and let’s not even mention all the “executive sessions” and rules about when items can be commented on or discussed.

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  3. U says:

    Quit crying about this. I have pointed out the path for you to challenge this but you refuse to take it.

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  4. Reality Checker says:

    All the closed door meetings and their failure to provide materials in advance of meetings just goes to show that they literally have a hidden agenda. They’re all in it together, enabling and protecting one another.

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  5. I would think that your second question is the more important one (If it is part of the job’s duties to serve as parliamentarian, then the City Attorney should never have to fear for his/her very job in carrying out that duty). Therefore, if she has not got the courage of her convictions, maybe we just need a new City Attorney. But, then, too, imho, we would probably have fewer issues with fewer chiefs, like with a strong Mayor form of government, and a lot less employees who think they have more power than they should have.

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