Friday, September 25, 2009
The Mayor Dropped the Ball--Part One
The "on again, off again" Monarch residential tax abatement ordinance was off again last night; it was off because of my refusal to allow the issue to be discussed in closed session in violation of the Sunshine law. I took the position that the abatement ordinance did not meet the test for a closed session discussion and, since 4 votes were needed to go into executive session, and only 4 council members were present at the time, no executive session was held.
This is because I refused to give my consent. I became incensed when, in response to my objection to the closed session, the Corporation Counsel sought to justify what was a clear violation of the Sunshine law by claiming that the abatement discussion was a “continuation of contract negotiations that started in 2006.” If ever there was a "stretch" argument, this was one; it was an obvious attempt to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Council President Burney, as transparent as he claims to be, came down on the side of the “make it work at any cost” argument of the administration, so much so that he still wanted to go into closed session although there were only 3 votes in favor--clearly, this would have been a violation. I informed the council president that 4 votes, a majority of the council, are needed for the passage of any resolution; it was only at this point that the attempt to hold an executive session was abandoned.
Later, I will provide my reasons in detail for why I say, "The Mayor Dropped the Ball!"