Saturday, November 10, 2012

Re-reversal on charter change for residency and "advice" + the Safe Grow Zone Initiative

The city attorney has advised a re-reversal on the charter change the city council has been considering. That's regarding residency requirements and an "advice" role for the council in department-head hiring.

The charter change did NOT pass.

"Done like a Frenchman, turn and turn again" (1 Henry VI, iii. 4).

The city attorney's latest memo is posted on the city's Web site.The essential point is that a councilmember is allowed to change her/his vote up until the time the mayor announces the voting outcome. The mayor did not announce the outcome, of the vote on the charter-change resolution, until after a revote that included a changed vote. The final tally was 3-3-1, but a majority vote is required for a charter change so the resolution failed.

I expect there will no be further reversals, although at Tuesday evening's council meeting (Nov 13), the floor will be open to a Motion to Reconsider. See the posted agenda materials. Such a motion may be made only by a councilmember who was on the prevailing side (which opposed the charter change) in the earlier vote. I expect there will not be a motion.

Absent a successful reconsideration vote -- and I expect there will not be one -- there will be no residency requirement in the charter for the city manager or executive employees nor an "advice" provision, in the charter, that requires the city manager to consult the council when hiring executive employees.

[Added November 11:] As has been known from the start, the council can require city-manager residency without a charter change, so there may still been an initiative to create a residency requirement.

On a different topic --

At Tuesday evening's council meeting, residents Catherine Cummings and Julie Taddeo will present the Safe Grow Zone Initiative, which "seeks to have the City Council enact a ban on the use of cosmetic lawn and garden pesticides on City property and to phase in a public education campaign and restrictions on the use of cosmetic lawn pesticides on private property within the City." ("Pesticides" here refers primarily to herbicides.)

Councilmember Tim Male and I have advised Catherine and Julie on this initiative, and they have also discussed it with the mayor. While Tuesday evening will be a worksession and not an occasion for public testimony, you're welcome to comment at the start of the council meeting or send your comments to me or to the council via clerk@takomagov.org. Moving forward, since the Safe Grow restrictions would affect (and benefit) all residents, we're definitely looking for public input.

Enjoy the holiday weekend!

1 comment:

  1. How about a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

    and since it appears (I say "appears" because I don't know whether the single-reading ordinance passed) you're going ahead with another $40,000 on a citizen survey (bringing the total spent on surveys since 2007 to $120,000), how about including specific questions on blowers and pesticides?

    Thanks, Seth.

    ReplyDelete