As we told you a couple of weeks ago, the council used the cover of the $9 MILLION gift to the county and the budget brouhaha to pass R-07-243 the Councilor (and Mayor) Protection Act. The resolution places a City Charter amendment on the October ballot that would make it nearly impossible to remove a city elected official by limiting cause to "malfeasance or misfeasance" as determined by the city clerk. In addition the signature requirements would be jiggered to make sure that the maximum number of signatures would be required.
Our Eyes told us that this resolution was the brainchild of one Don Harris, who faces a recall uprising in his own District 9. Harris convinced a short-timer with nothing to lose, Councilor Craig Loy to sponsor the amendment.
Last night Mayor Chavez had his veto over-ridden in a 7 to 1 vote with only Councilor Winter dissenting. The first dead of night vote was 8 to 1, again with only Councilor Winter dissenting. The difference in the two votes was that Councilor Harris conveniently heard the urgent call of nature (or some such) and "took a walk" in order to avoid voting.
(Sidebar)Moving on to the other over-ride... In our opinion the only councilor that should be eligible for a pay raise is Councilor Winter. He's the only one that understands that councilors are in essence, at will employees of the people. The Almighty's veto of the resolution placing the council raise on the October ballot is more than likely about striking back at the council for their collective temerity in over-riding Marty's budget and tax cut.
Trust us Councilor Harris, you're not fooling anyone with the "I voted for it before I found a convenient reason not to vote for it again," act. It's obvious that this charter amendment is crafted to address your specific situation. At least have the courage to vote.
Being a councilor requires a large commitment of time, not just for meeting 3 Mondays a month, but for committee meetings, constituent relations, attending city functions, and neighborhood meetings. In meetings and gatherings alone, it's a full time job. $10,000 is not nearly adequate compensation for the amount of time and effort goes into even being a bad councilor (which we have far too many of - Harris, Mayer and Loy you know who you are).
We don't mind if they ask for a raise, if they don't mind being turned down for the 11th time. We do have a problem with the idea of giving these yahoos a raise and giving them a four year job guarantee at the same time. Talk about arrogance!