Tuesday, January 10, 2012

COUNCIL MEETING

The Agenda Setting Council Session is to start at 7:30 pm according to Council schedule. The preceding Executive Session lasted until 7:45 and the next 15 minutes were spent setting up the cameras and lights for the video tapping.

Noteworthy and perhaps as a sign of the new Council's year was a gigantic City Seal placed against the window/wall behind the Presidents chair.

The meeting itself was brief and over by 9:15; 1 1/2 hours but did not lack substance.

A communication from the Mayor nominating four individuals a Commissioners of the PMUA .
was not acted upon because of the receipt of "new information". There had been some question about the terms to be served and also about some of the individuals. Before the Council will act on any nominees it is their fiduciary right to interview them.

Next on the agenda was a discussion about two proposed "Mapp Ordinances" One to disallow any "lame duck" (after the general election) reimbursement for conferences or courses was later placed on the agenda for first reading unanimously.

The other proposal which would eliminate health care benefits for "Elected Officials" a group that includes the Councilors and the Mayor was placed on the agenda by the expected 4:3 vote. Since only two Councillors accept that benefit which could have a net worth of up to slightly over $18,000.00 for a family plan; it seems that the objection may have been to protect the Mayor.

It is noted that the Councilors receive up to $2000.00 in lieu of the benefit " Thus there is another remaining question if that provision will be eliminated. There also is a matter of a recent similar State Law which grandfathers those elected officials remaining in office.

A proposal for "Shared Services" with the Housing Authority was tabled for a more complete and informative backup material; that provided was in the form of a "Power Point" slides.

Also tabled was a Resolution appointing the Purchasing Agent as the Public Agent Compliance Officer". Since that person was cited in the WBLS investigation report and was one of the two "Rice Notice " hearings at the earlier Executive Session I must concur with Council's action.

Early in the meeting a discussion on the continued North Ave closing from Park Ave to Gavett Place as a result of the December fire Director Hellwig reported that the building has been declared structurally safe ant the owner intend to reconstruct it as soon as insurance claims are settled and permits can be issued. There has been some hang up in the issuance of the permits for undisclosed reasons.

There also was questions b y Council if the City will be compensated for costs resulting from police protection and clean ups during this period.

There was minimal public discussion at this meeting.

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