Thursday, May 04, 2006

City Council doesn't deliberate; Dicara Drops Fundraiser

Here's a picture of me in Louisiana building with Habitat for Humanity!

Just got back from New Orleans last night, in time to read in the morning papers about the City Council voting itself a raise. A raise for the Mayor, who does all the work, has all the power, and all the responsibility I might agree with, but a raise for the council? After they just argued in Open Court that they have no power or authority over virtually anything?

I just spent 6 months or so traveling the city with these guys, speaking to the same groups, talking about the issues. Never once did they say they were underpaid. In fact, they said "it was the greatest job in the world", and " I wouldn't want to do anything else". Their apparent incredible job satisfaction rate doesn't jibe with the pay raise, which I believe is about the only piece of legislation they have passed other than outlawing some super serious guns, none of which I believe have been used in any of the shootings this year.

Good for Felix and Chuck Turner for voting against. And they are two of the members who could most use the money. A bit disappointed in Sam Yoon for not voting against it. He spent a year and half running for a job that paid 70K a year, how could he in good conscience vote himself a raise when the city needs more cops.

Meanwhile, the instigator of these raises Larry Dicara suddenly canceled a fundraiser that was to be at his house tonight. We just got a call and no explanation yesterday that it was cancelled. I already sent in my check to help raise money for Nuestra Comunidad's Nuestra Culinary Venture's Our Kitchen, but I was looking forward to enjoying the food of the group, and a nice night out at Mr. Dicara's house (who should be applauded for hosting the event).

Serendipity? Who knows?

If I had been elected I would try and get an amendment passed that the City Council can only vote itself a pay raise in the last quarter of their term. We should pass this law for all elected bodies, legislature, Congress, etc. That way, they would have to justify the raises in a more demonstrable manner.

Meanwhile, about these raises. So they had a report from Dicara's committee, then they were supposed to have a hearing on it that was cancelled 1/2 an hour before it was scheduled, doesn't appear that any public notice was given, but yet the report from Feeney's committee say that a number of her committee members conferred with the report: I believe Kelly, Ross, Murphy, McDermott conferred. In other words: members of the committee discussed, deliberated and recommended something without any public notice or input.

Sounds like all the making of an Open Meeting Lawsuit!!! It takes 3 citizens to file one, anyone interested?

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