The Committee meetings tonight were relatively calm with no big issues on the agendas. Mayor Ray was again unable to attend, and though it wasn’t announced as such, I assume he is still recuperating from his illness that began 4 months ago.
The highlight of the evening was Commissioner Bill Anderson pointing out to the Rules Committee the improper way a lot of the issues get handled and are bypassing the committee process. He reiterated items from my last blog, In particular he complained that the whole Justice Center 5 million dollar addition was improperly handled, starting with the addition NOT being placed on the Finance agenda. Without that MAJOR issue on the agenda, the public was not informed the addition was to be discussed, and the commissioners, many of which have day jobs, did not know and did not make provisions to attend and be part of the discussion. Had the issue gone through the proper process, everyone would have had an opportunity to be part of the debate and to study the issue and get feedback from the citizens BEFORE voting.
Commissioner Biff Farrar agreed with Bill that for some reason the proper procedure is being ignored. He also pointed out the irregularity of having several Resolutions given out at the Commission Meeting and expecting an immediate vote without having an opportunity to read and study the Resolutions. Commissioner Julie Wells also chimed in that things should go through committees, even Commissioners Billy King and Jimmy Woodson said they agreed that things should go through committees. Jimmy Woodson said that the next time this happens the Commissioners need to vote no and/or refer it back to the committees, but no action was taken tonight by the Rules Committee. It was much like when I pointed out state law was violated by no allowing Commissioner Brown to vote, and they said, “we just won’t do that again.”
The real answer is not a Resolution from the Rules Committee, or waiting to see if 10 of the Commissioners will vote to send something back, but strong leadership from the Mayors office. As Mayor, I would properly set the agendas and ensure the work moves through the committees as is required by the Commission bylaws.
“It's better to be slow and careful in the right direction than to be fast and careless on the wrong path. Be sure that you are on the right path before you begin to take your steps!”
― Israelmore Ayivor