Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The First Commission Meeting

Last night, November 16, three new members took their places on the dais. Mayor Corina Esquijarosa, Vice Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps, and Commissioner Eddie Lim were each sworn in following valedictory remarks from Rey Trujillo and Oscar Alfonso. I find these ceremonies moving, reminders that we live in a time and a place where we have the privilege of changing our government without violence, without coercion, and small town democracy is the embodiment of these ideals.

Each of the new members made an opening address and Commissioner Lim's stood out. His call for decorum and respect at the meetings evoked a strong response from all present. It was a clear, concise statement of changing the tone of the discussion, long a goal of mine. Mayor Esquijarosa spoke about her dedication to getting the process right and to listening more than speaking, a near revolutionary concept for an elected official. This combination strikes me as powerful.

Almost immediately, you could see the new tone of the commission when sitting Commissioner Rodriguez brought up his belief that there should be another commission meeting this month. Although the city attorney told him that a motion was not necessary, any two commissioners can make such a request and the city clerk can manage the details, Rodriguez wanted the discussion done in public. It took very little time for the group to agree on November 30. I hope this spirit of transparency pervades in our new commission.

Finally, there was some talk from outgoing Commissioner Rey Trujillo about a plan to recall Dr. Vogel, North Bay Village's longest serving elected official. I don't know where that's coming from. It's no secret that Dr. Vogel voted consistently with whatever Trujillo and Kane said in the last year and that was painful to watch. The best outcome would be for Dr. Vogel to engage more and let the new commission avail itself of his long experience, broad knowledge and wisdom. It seemed kind of nasty of Rey Trujillo to use his last speech to spread rumors that needlessly upset Dr. Vogel. Let's hope the new commission moves beyond the rumor mongering and grandstanding. Dr. Vogel has served too long and too well to be treated this, and besides, he's a great guy.

All in all, there was a good start last night.

Kevin Vericker
November 17, 2010

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