Letter to the Editor: Charter Revision Not Citizen-Sensitive
By Joel M. Williams
WHEREAS two [2 (!)] of the seven current Councilors were not elected by the voters and both will still be seated for another two years without being subjected to voter approval even after we vote in the upcoming general election, (remember that the councilor appointed by the Councilors before these two was not reseated by voters at the end of his term); and
WHEREAS it is possible for the Council to have none of its members voter-elected, but all self-appointed by those seated and remain so for nearly two-years until some of “their” terms end; and
WHEREAS it is possible for an elected person to resign after serving a single day and have the Council appoint a person, who could not otherwise serve consecutive terms or one who has not gone through the grinding forums and public scrutiny faced by voter-elected Councilors, who would then sit for nearly four years; and
WHEREAS the Charter Review Committee (CRC) has claimed a comprehensive review of the charter, but has not seen to it that ALL of the seated Councilors should be voter-elected; and
WHEREAS the seated council has not been moved (only annoyed!) by the current level of requirements for citizen petitions, even when signed by over 2,000 signatures (over 10 percent of the total citizenry); and
WHEREAS the CRC has deemed it important to restrict citizen-petitioning even further than is currently required; and
WHEREAS the Council has decreed that the CRC’s revision is hunky-dory with them including the gall-stones imbedded in the four hamburgers that we voters are being ask to endorse;
We VOTERS need to send the Councilors and CRC a resounding JEER to indicate our dismay about these WHEREASes.
There is a difference between short-term (a few months), stopgap measures (frankly, it is not clear that the Council could not function very well for quite a while without a member or two!) and long-term self-appointments (we’re talking up to nearly four years, folks!) that by-pass us voters.
All of us should vote NO, NO, NO, NO on ALL 4 charter amendments to tell the Councilors that we citizens are not interested in having our right to petition and recall them be restricted further and that our Councilors should be elected by us and not appointed by seated Councilors!
Send the charter back for more “review” that fixes these WhereASes from a citizen-important perspective and not just from the obvious councilor/Xcouncilor-endorsed self-empowering perspective!