I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.
The Common Council Agenda – Who and How
Revisiting the Common Council Agenda
90% of the problem is asking the right question(s).
An alderperson could try and have the item be reconsidered to try and have a reverse or modify the decision. The body was not unanimous, but split so a resend and nullify the action taken by the council on December 2 could be an option.
A reversal is unusual but it could be said that Alderman Tom Pavlic was falsely under the impression that a bidding war would ensue for Wal-Mart (Funny how all of a sudden the city was hoping for a Wal-Mart in Cudahy). He could not have been more mistaken or ill-informed. That might be grounds to ask for the reversal.
It might be said that District 4 had no representation since they didn't. If the other alderperson’s don't agree then the voices of District 4 don't matter to them. (Soon Jason Litkowiec will become the Fourth District’s alderperson after running unopposed for Cudahy council seat)
Just a reminder that to bring it back for reconsideration later, a council member would have to request that the item be put on the agenda. According the Cudahy code, if three or more (I believe it is) alderpersons request in writing that an items be placed on an agenda (if the Mayor won't do it), then the items must be placed on an agenda for a meeting of the common council.
What if that is the will of the residents in the district that the alderman is in? Should it not be considered and the Mayor places it on the agenda for discussion?
Some would say that that causes a walking quorum.
Not really, they are just asking that the item be brought up and they are not saying how they are going to vote. Remember it is a way to get their item on an agenda, if the Mayor attempts to block it. Just because an item is put on the agenda doesn’t mean the person(s) are voting in favor of it. All it means is it should be discussed and then voted on.
It would not constitute a walking quorum any more than having more than one Common Council member on any of the lower committees that presents/recommends things to the Common Council.
Now back to the agenda. Unless they have the third vote, STRONG, it makes no sense to ask for the item to be placed on the agenda.
Depending on who becomes elected in the Fourth (Congratulations to Jason Litkowiec), someone could ask for the item on an agenda. Even if the newly elected Fourth District is in favor of it, here is where you have to watch out for trouble.
If you end up with a 3-2 vote in favor of the Wal-Mart, the Mayor vetoes, and you need four votes to override. Even if you get the fourth vote, and it goes through after about 1 - 2 months of rig-a-ma roll, remember, it still needs to go back to the CDA.
However, with that much political football, you may have trouble getting four votes to move it in the CDA. Again, several months could pass, and from a developer’s standpoint, that is a lot of wasted time and effort.
Okay so that is one route what about if a citizen wants to have an item on a City Common Council Agenda?
Please keep in mind that the Mayor’s job by powers of the executive branch are:
- To set the budget
- To set the agenda
The Mayor, just like the President, can either sign off or veto. (What happened to the Mayor’s Town Hall Meetings he was going to hold often?)
A Mayor is in charge of running the city every day. His job includes talking to citizens of the city and other government leaders to help solve problems. A Mayor is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The City of Cudahy has a FULL TIME Mayor! Don’t forget that!
The Mayor, the city's chief executive officer (this analogy only works when you realize the citizens are the stockholder/owners since the CEO works for them just like the Mayor works for the citizens of the city), directs city departments and appoints department heads, with the advice and consent of the City Common Council.
The Mayor submits a budget to the City Common Council. The Mayor presides at City Council meetings and can vote in the event of a tie. He does not have to, but can if he so chooses. The Mayor must approve or veto all ordinances passed by the City Council and has the power to veto ordinances.
The Mayor also appoints members of city boards and commissions. (It would be nice, check that, it should be only people living in the city can be appointed to city boards and commissions! If someone doesn’t live in the city that their decision affects. Why should their voice matter since they have no stake in the city?)
The Common Council is the legislative branch and are the one making laws and ordnances. They are considered the doers and hold the power.
Since we have a Mayor, we have NO need for a City Administrator!
Since we have a Mayor, we have NO need for a City Administrator!
Now or in the future!
Please note that this is a duplication of job duties that the Mayor handles already!
Manages the City's business and carries out the Council's plans and directions by coordinating the work of all the City's departments and employees
Expends funds as authorized by the Council's budget
Recommends the Council on legislation, financial program, capitol improvements, policies, employment, and service
Hires city employees and may remove them
Investigates and acts on complaints
Negotiates and administers contracts and agreements
Keeps the Council informed of the City's business and financial condition
(It would be nice if our current Mayor would memo the city employees when he will not be in the office like our previous Mayor did! Communication frankly is missing here!)
Represents the City at conferences, meetings, and committees
Just a question – Who do the staff/city workers work for? The correct answer is the citizens. Remember - Public servants. To serve the public!
How do I get an item placed on the Agenda?
On many occasions I am sure, citizens have questioned how an item they are interested in can be placed on the City Common Council Agenda for discussion and possible action.
Items the City Common Council might consider taking action on should be placed on the City Council Agenda.
To have an item placed on the City Council Agenda the following must take place:
Submit a letter, by mail or in person, addressed to the Mayor and City Common Council, to the City Clerk's Office explaining what you wished placed on the agenda.
Make sure you have explained in detail your concern.
The letter should be submitted at least 20 days prior to the City Common Council Meeting. This allows the Mayor and City Common Council time to review and staff to research, if necessary.
When the item is placed on the agenda the City Clerk's office will contact you so that you will be able to address the Mayor and City Common Council at the meeting. Please include your phone number or address.
The Mayor should notify you in a letter as to why your request was denied since you requested it in letter format.
One would think that the Mayor and Common Council would invite citizens to participate in the innovative and progressive activities taking place within the City. The way to be heard is by taking an active role and by attending the Common Council Meetings to understand what and why the Common Council makes the decisions it does.
Do not feel excluded from the process, but feel excited and included and the only way that is going to happen is IF you get involved in the first place.
Time doesn’t change a man’s word, but you learn his sincerity of action during it!