Thursday, April 7, 2011

LEGAL SUPPORT

Wednesday night's Town Hall Meeting once again brought out one of the major shortcomings in the City Charter.

During a discussion about how difficult it would be to abolish the PMUA,  it was noted by various members of the Council that they have been advised that it would be difficult. Two attorneys who addressed  the Council remarked that their experience had let them to be confident that would be a relative simple procedure.

One of the major problems in the City Charter is the role of the Corporation Counsel. Not only is he/she the advisor to the mayor but also acts as Counsel to the Council.  Yet CC serves at the will of the Mayor and his appointment expires at the end of the Mayor"s tour. There's an old adage that "no man can serve two masters". This has been well demonstrated when there has been a conflict of opinion between the mayor and the council.

The Corporation Counsel's office was originally intended to be part time and only during   the present administration has become.. The city would be better served if there were two separate attorneys. Both could be part-time; one serving the Mayor and Administration, the other being the Council's advisor.

This might fcut down the number of part-time specialist attorneys employed by the city. Certainly the public would be better served by such an arrangement.

Once again it is past time for a review and revision of the city's charter. I believe recommendations for charter revisions were made in 1995 but have gathered dust since that date.

It is very unlikely that Administration will contemplate calling for a revision of the city charter. Thus, it is up to the Council to initiate such a study to select a citizens committee to review and make recommendations.

2 comments:

  1. Let the City Council make it so and let's have two attorneys. It must have been a mayor who suggested this. It's a bad idea, so let's change it and not put up with any nonsense that says otherwise.

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  2. Doc, the corporation counsel was fulltime before the current administration took office.

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