Councilman Burney's indignation at the exposure of the $20,000.00 bill paid to the radio station to broadcast a public meeting called by the Mayor is justified. So are the questions raised by other Council members. It is likely that next Monday a Resolution will be introduced to investigate the matter. The scope of that meeting could be extended to question use of other line monies for services that do not appear to be related to the intent of the original budget.
The Council does have power according to the City Charter;quote
2.8 Investigations; removals
The council may make investigations into the affairs of the city and the conduct of any city department, office, commission or agency and for this purpose, subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony, and require the full production of evidence. In addition to any other remedy, any person who willfully fails or refuses to obey a lawful order issued in the exercise of these powers by the council shall be adjudged a disorderly person, punishable by a fine of not more them $200.00, or by imprisonment for not more then 30 days or both.
Council may remove any officer or employee, other then the mayor or a councilman, for cause, upon notice and an opportunity to be heard.
In a similar vein Counsilor Mapp's finance Committee report included his recommendation of a "forensic audit". In view of the lack of either at CFO and/or Director of Administration and Finance over the past few years, and with ongoing questions the idea is a good one. Will the Council have the guts to order one?
The PMUA was supposed to give a report and answer some questions but again announced that they were too busy to at tend. Chairman Mitchell wrote that data requested by the Council would be submitted by September 24 and the Commissioners would better be able to meet with the Council in Nov..
Inspection Divisions Directer Turk reported on the city's efforts to enforce corrections of code violations. There are numerous legal roadblocks and if the property owner has filed for bankruptcy it is an impossibility. It would seem that some problems could be solved if the pertinent codes were reviewed and rewritten to be effective in theses times. Make the Ordinances have teeth.
At midnight citizen Allan Goldstein questioned the correctness of the 250000 contract awarded to the"incubator". He noted hast mandates i n the State regulations were not followed. That the vendor had no experience in the field of job training. He also noted that the RFP was so written that it would discourage legitimate vendors. He also pointed out other deficincies which were overlooked. Despite City Administrator Taylor's assurance that the process had met all State requirements there seems to be enough abnormalities that the Council should revisit their positive vote.