Friday, June 15, 2012

MONDAY'S COUNCIL AGENDA

Although the Agenda Setting Session is supposed to determine the resolutions and ordinances to be acted in the business meeting Monday nights agenda contains three new items .Two were not even discussed last Tuesday and the third is presente3d as an Ordinance instead of a Resolution.

One of the two new resolutions rescinds Resolution 036-12 passed Jan. 17,2012 which reprimanded the mayor for the WBLS expenditures and referred the results to the Department of Community Affairs, the Attorney General, and the Union County Prosecutor. (R221-12 & 222-12)

This Resolution is the basis of the Mayor’s suit against the Council. I cannot comment why it is rescinded until I have a chance to read the supporting documents Saturday. However it may be questionable if any of the referring recommendations was ever carried out, since that would be an administrative function.

The second new resolution reprimands the Mayor and adopts the findings of the Special Counsel. If memory serves me they were rather non committal, but again that will take research.
The other item is an Ordinance for first reading calling for the placement of a question (a non binding referendum) on the November ballot to determine if the voters wish a Charter Study Commission to study the City’s Special Charter.

Despite the fact that State Laws 19:37-1 reads “, the governing body may adopt at any regular meeting an ordinance or a resolution requesting the clerk of the county to print upon the official ballots to be used at the next ensuing general election a certain proposition to be formulated and expressed in the ordinance or resolution in concise form.” T he Acting Corporation Counsel had presented a complicated three year road map including Ordinances to b e followed.

The problem with Ordinance is 5that they require two Council meetings to pass- that second one would be in July and the likelihood of a Mayor’s veto is a probability. That veto could be overridden by an unlikely 5 votes at the next regular or special meeting. If it did pass at an August 13 meeting that would just miss the deadline “Such request shall be filed with the clerk of the county not later than 74 days previous to the election”

I fear that the City’s Solicitor’s recommendation may be another legal maneuver to thwart the public’s interest. Thus passing a resolution should accomplish the desired action and bypass any possible Administrative stonewalling.

These three items will be an indication of the will of the 2012 Council.

As a procedure action I believe that Resolutions 221 & 222 must first be voted to be included on the agenda since they were not presented at the agenda setting session. The Ordinance need not since on Tuesday the Council approved of what was presented as a Resolution but Corporation Counsel advised (wrongly) that it had to go through the Ordinance route.

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