Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Confusion and Obfuscation at the Commission Meeting

A lot happened last night at the commission meeting and I don't have time today to review each in detail. Here's a quick summary of two things that stood out and I will get to the rest when I can.

Vice Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps put an item on the current agenda to reject the protest of Choice Environmental Systems over the contract to outsource our garbage and eliminate side yard pickup.

At the December meeting, the Vice Mayor had placed an item on the agenda to reject a request to waive the protest bond for Choice Environmental. When the item came up for a vote, she had clearly not read the resolution she herself proposed and voted against it. Following her vote, she began asking out loud, "What did I just vote for?"

Last night, the Vice Mayor was once again befuddled. She had placed a new resolution on the agenda to reject the protest and when the resolution had been read by the clerk, she became confused and read it again out loud instead of the more usual procedure of discussing why she put the item on the agenda.

More confusion followed regarding in what order people are allowed to speak and what the item itself was. In the end, Dr. Vogel voted along with Esquijarosa and Rodriguez to continue the item to the regular February meeting. This was a sensible move and perhaps we can gain some clarity before the next meeting on the Vice Mayor's intentions.

The second highlight of the agenda was the Code Enforcement Report. Maurice Murray, our new code enforcement officer, has been pretty busy. The results are starting to show on Treasure Island. Murray also provided the commission with a detailed activity report that gives a clear picture of what activities he is pursuing and the city manager included this in the agenda. Very well done.

Mayor Esquijarosa and Commissioner Frank Rodriguez both used this detailed report as a basis to question why we are not getting the same transparency from the police and the city manager. The police chief did not know or share the number of arrests, patrols, dispatch calls or other key indicators of activity and merely deferred the question by saying he is looking into benchmarking. The city manager did provide a report this month on the finances but none on the projects.

Maybe the city manager and the chief could spend some time with our code enforcement officer to learn how to create useful activity reports.

More to follow.

Kevin Vericker
January 12, 2011

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