Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Can a Special Election Be Called? Yes.

By using the city attorney's own logic. Words don't mean what they say.

On advice from the city attorney, citing charter language, the proposition to fill place 7, if Maczka doesn’t pull a Slagel, The council will select a new mayor pro tem, the mayor pro tem will become mayor, and the council will select the vacated seat of the mayor pro tem vacated to become mayor.

That is how the charter reads. Or so it seems.

In section 3.10 of the charter it says “All meeting of the City Council and all committees there of shall be open to the public … and the rules of the city council shall provide that citizens of the city shall have a reasonable opportunity to be heard at any such meetings…”

To me that read that all meeting of the council and any committees or board or commissions shall be open to the public and at each and every such meeting, there will be time set aside for input from the citizens.

The city attorney takes the stance that the public can only have a reasonable opportunity to comment at council meetings and boards, commissions or committees which are composed of only council members. Other meetings, tough luck. You don’t get an opportunity to speak. See http://dc-tm.blogspot.com/2014/11/irony-is-action.html#more

In section 11.07 of the charter, talking of transfers of appropriations, it says “The Council may at any time transfer an unencumbered balance of an appropriation made for the use of one department, division, or purpose; but no such transfer shall be made of revenues or earnings of any nontax supported public utility for any other purpose.”

My reading of that is the city cannot take money out of a non-tax supported fund unless it is for an expense for that fund. The $10 million a year being swept from non-tax supported funds, PILOT and Franchise Fees, cannot be done. See http://dc-tm.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-official-response-we-are-doing.html  and http://dc-tm.blogspot.com/2015/02/why-is-my-water-bill-so-high-improper.html for the city attorney’s response about this.

The city attorney takes the stance, if the revenues of a non-tax supported fund are laid claim to at budget time, then they are not unencumbered funds, and therefore may be swept from a non-tax supported fund to the general fund for use as the city pleases.

Following the same logic of the city attorney, where words don’t really mean anything but what you want them to mean, we could have a special election for place 7 is Maczka doesn’t take her seat. There is nothing in the charter that say anything about NOT having a special election in this situation. The charter does give A way to fill the seat, selection. But is does not prohibit a special election.

If members of the council wanted to go with the spirit of direct election, it is within their reach to make it happen. After the election, two member could resign or not take the oath, and force a special election by having more than 2 seats empty. I wouldn’t hold my breath for that to happen. Too much self-interest.

So, let’s have a special election this year.


  1. Their new programming phrase is "you are confused". Or casual observers are confused. Or there is some confusion on _______.

    That's an old brain control technique.



  2. How about a concerted effort of concerned citizens to simply recall three or more of the crooks...I mean council members, including whomever slides in as mayor? Or, recall ALL of them? It might be what we need to get things changed at that snake pit and start getting some true representation and responsiveness.