Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Not impressive night at City Council Hearing

I attended the City Council hearing on Oversight widely publicized by Sam Yoon with campaign funds tonight.

The meeting was slated to start at 6:00 but Sam didn't take the microphone until 6:43, nothing like making the public wait.

He talked for about 20 minutes going over information that is available from the Financial Commission. No one from the FinCom was there to talk about it. Sam made a point about the building not being handicapped accessible and that he was going to fix it in the future. This was in reference to a gentleman who was there that was wheel chair bound.

Then Judith Kurland, the Mayor's chief of staff spoke and started right out by correcting Sam that Lisa Signori (chief budget officer) had not committed to coming to the meeting and had a statement from Lisa Signori that she looked forward to a thorough review of the budget through the Ways and Means committee. (Not the committee that Sam chairs)

Mrs. Kurland then really slammed Sam by telling him that the building can be made handicapped accessible as long as adequate time and notice are given, which Sam didn't do. She announced to the crowd that Sam's office had been informed of this earlier, and told that there were other buildings in the community that are more easily handicapped accessible and hence it was Sam's fault for not planning properly. She said they have ramps that can be installed on the building in 3 to 8 days for events.

I had to leave at this point to go to a TV appearance, but I returned just after 8 pm as the meeting was wrapping up. I did an interview with WBUR, whose reporter told me that the Fireman's union had spoken about how Sam didn't have his facts straight about some personnel issues, and that the fireman spoke strongly in favor of the call boxes.

The big issue for me is that most of the items that the FinCom cites have been known about for years but what have our elected officials been doing about it? We need strong leadership to be able to get ourselves to fiscal sanity.

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