Council Watch, 4/28/08

Just a couple of impressions. During the Committee of the Whole, I think the city council hit most of the right notes in questioning the skating rink idea, namely the safety issues, how it would eat up parking, and whether downtown business owners were contacted (although the answer given didn’t really clear that up for me). It does not seem like a done deal for the FY2009 budget.

As for Water Resources, I believe they made a pretty good case for raising the rates as their difficulty in keeping up with costs is clear. (The city-by-city comparison was not the centerpiece of the argument.) Also, they are not talking about new infrastructure but about replacing the ancient water mains and if there is a way to ensure that a portion of the money goes into that project and not all toward operations I could get behind some sort of increase.

The person who spoke for the division–didn’t catch the name–left a good impression, too. There was neither a sense of entitlement nor that faintly defensive air one sees sometimes. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for a department that has put off purchasing new vehicles as a way to economize.

Mac reports on the regular council meeting here.

6 thoughts on “Council Watch, 4/28/08”

  1. I send my good luck and best wishes to Mac along with my empathy to the sudden re-appearance of Chatty Cathy who got himself added to the budget citizens’ advisory group in a way that yes, completely blindsided the Mayor.

    Keep your eyes open for deals on pain relievers at any of the local pharmacies–Mac will now need large quantities. Has Chatty Cathy learned how to use the wonderful late 1990s invention of email yet?

    For this comment:

    “The person who spoke for the department–didn’t catch the name–left a good impression, too. There was neither a sense of entitlement nor that faintly defensive air one sees sometimes. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for a department that has put off purchasing new vehicles as a way to economize.”

    Isn’t it nice when one of the good city employees speaks? We usually hear too much from the city manager and the city lawyer.

  2. A don’t miss rumor off the Chronicle’s message board:

    wondering2 wrote on May 1, 2008 6:49 AM:
    ” Just when you think you’ve seen and heard all. Rumor has it that city hall is ready to sign a pay increase of 4 to 5% for all rank and file staff. This should not be done before the budget is discussed for FY2009. City hall is top heavy and needs to clean house. Voters need to express their displeasure with this even if it is only being discussed. Who out there is receiving 4 to 5% raises in their job??? Many I know including my husband are actually taking pay cuts to keep their job. Let’s hear it people! “

  3. Here’s the link to the above comment.

    I’ve heard the same rumor. For whatever reason, union negotiations take place behind closed doors but for the life of me, I can’t think of a legitimate reason why this is the rule. If it’s true–if the city acts like it’s business as usual this year and grants ANY raises for FY2009–they should pay a high price for their poor judgment.

  4. It looks like it may have some truth to it. It looks like the Chronicle pulled that string off line before it got some energy. Usually the Chronicle doesn’t mind a hot button. I do believe that the Chronicle gets awfully biased when it comes to what it runs or doesn’t.

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