Monday, February 25, 2008

County Commission Meeting 2/25

Zoning: Butler Homes condo development in Gleason/Ebenezer area cut back to 4 & 5 units/acre (2 proposals). The dangerous gulley issue still needs to be addressed.

We spent over an hour and a half debating a potential change to the Concord Marina contract that Owings already said wasn't a legal proposal (county can't approve contracts > 25 years). How it even got onto the meeting agenda (and wasn't pulled in committee by the law director) is the question.....

Open forum is going to include more on MulchGate, where Natural Resources Recovery is accused of witholding payments to the county, on top of their odor complaints. Now, it appears that lab tests results show fecal coliform levels 120x to 260x allowed limits. This is the exact same problem the City had 10-15 years ago that shut down their mulching facility (Compost Corporation of America, I think).

Right now they are debating the Charter Petition amendments, which (I believe) have to be approved on first reading to be on schedule to get on the August ballot, otherwise they have to go to petition drive. Craig Leuthold asked how one amendment works with the term limit provision (are we undoing it? If the language reads "two consecutive four year terms", it's possible that some districts would allow a commissioner elected in 2010 to serve for fourteen years!!!).

I would guess that most commissioners would vote to put all 9 on the ballot (Hammond), some will block some from being put on the ballot (such as appointed fee office managers), and some will work to amend them (Lambert is speaking to this) and dare KCOQ to go to petition drive to get the version they want.

Leuthold is criticizing KCOQ for "inflexibility in [their] proposals." Victoria DeFreese is recalling how confusing the Sheriff's pension was written, and suggests that the wording of the referendums be clear to the voters (yes!!!). Moore wants a list of all attendees to ensure the groups were representative of the various districts, and not the same people showing up at each meeting. Moore also asks if the voters will know before August what the new appointees salaries will be (KCOQ: yes). Hammond calls for a forum March 12 at 8am, Moore suggests that we need an evening forum more accessible to citizens.

7 lights still on, going to be a long night. Davis suggests splitting 902 to divide issue of 9 commissioners with issue of aligning school districts (the latter being more popular). Ballard echoing sentiment that the committee was too small, and this is a very quick process to make "radical changes."

How awful would it be to plan to delay some of these items to the 2010 ballot, to take effect in 2014? We could salvage anti-nepotism, conflict of interest policies (I want to see a stronger proposal here!), returning the petition to earlier rules, Board of Education alignment, and even getting an Inspector General. Likely the 2008 petition drive for the others would fail, but we'd get a break-out vote of the most urgent reforms.

Daniels: Why/how are you grouping them together?

Harmon: Put them all on the ballot individually, let voters decide. Don't amend, one person's improvement is another person's poison pill (ahem, Greg).

Pinkston: what's difference between auditor and inspector General? Leuthold: What' s the point if the mayor appoints the IG (where's the independence?)

DeFreese blows a big hole when she points out she was at the South-Doyle meeting, but many of the proposals weren't discussed in her group (executive branch restructuring, IG). She points out that some ideas may have only been discussed by 50 to 100 people.

Briggs: Did some ideas come from "best practices" Baker study and not from the forum? Daytime March 12 meeting isn't a good forum, we need an evening forum.

It is pointed out that it is very difficult to align districts since we allow School Board to define their own districts? Are they now in control of commission districts? It turns out our charter provision to let the School Board write districts is wrong, so apparently we have to fix that.

Pinkston points out that more commissioners mean more access by common citizens, 9 commissioners would mean just th e"rich and powerful" would get the seats, with the at large dominated by the West.

Smith: Too much work for 1 commissioner per district.

Scooby: Let's vote! Just up or down, no more modifications! But we should really discuss before we take a single vote! It's 11:00 for crying out loud!

Amendments by Lambert/Smith fail, but unmodified motion 102 (reducing size of commission, align with school board) passes (barely) 13-6. Voting no: DeFreese, McKenzie, Moore, Pinkston, Strickland.

103 (conflict of interest provision) passes unanimously, as it mirrors current ethics policy (which is too weak!!!)

104 (consistency provision).

Leuthold- we can't set our voters up to vote on something and then leave it in legal limbo or possibly overturned.

Moore- we debated a boat dock for 3 hours, but we're changing our government in less than an hour.

12-7 Nos: McKenzie, Pinkston, I Harmon, Defreese, Davis, Moore, Lambert. 104 FAILS.

105 (Exec Branch Restructuring) FAILS 11-7-1
No: Strickland, I Harmon, Davis, Lambert, Moore, Defreese, Pinkston

106 (Inspector General): Two attempts to amend, the first to make the person elected (8 year terms, 16 max, partisan elections) and keep the auditor (this fails 10-9), the last to keep the existing auditor (also fails).

Unamended 106 passes barely 13-6. Nos: Pinkston, Defreese, Moore, Lambert, I Harmon, Strickland.

107 (Nepotism): Passes 19-0

108 (County Employees on Commission): Rules suspended since this was discussed earlier. Lumpy tries to add poison pill, and Pinkston has to have the concept of a poison pill explained to him. Amendment fails. Unamended proposal amazingly passes 14-4 (Pinkston, Moore, Lambert, Harmon)

109 (Legislative Conflict of Interest): 14-4-1
Nos: Pinkston, Moore, Lambert, I Harmon,

It's 12:30. I've been here NINE hours.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's just what I was thinking: triage. Put the easy amendments on the ballot now and then work on the rest later.