Letter to the editor: What should City Council do after approving a budget?

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Dear Editor:

I was recently provided copies of a public record request related to the SR 104 pedestrian crossing. The public records include an email to a City Council Member that contains the following statements:

“As an outsider and a past owner of numerous businesses I am surprised that the City Council has not happily delegated this sort of action to those who are hired to implement the “nuts and bolts”. The City Council approves the annual budget then shouldn’t it be “hands-off”? They (you) have done your job. Let the professionals exercise their best judgement. Right? If you don’t trust them to do that, then get new people.”

The statements caused me to consider how many other citizens see things this way.

I wonder how many citizens believe the City Council can delegate action to City Staff. The Mayor is the elected official who can delegate action to City Staff. The only exception I know of relates to the Executive Assistant to Council.

I wonder how many citizens believe that the City Council should be “hands-off” after it approves the budget. I believe this concept is alarming! If one believes this is how municipal government is supposed to work, do you also believe that the Council is wasting its time on committee nights and when it approves vouchers, etc.?

I wonder how many citizens believe that the City Council has the authority to “get new people”.

I believe that the Mayor is the only elected officials who can “get new people”.

I am pretty certain that the City Council cannot “get new people” even if they don’t trust those hired to implement the “nuts and bolts”.

Again, following is what our Code requires of the Mayor:

The mayor shall be the chief executive and administrative officer of the city, in charge of all departments and employees, with authority to designate assistants and department heads. The mayor shall see that all laws and ordinances are faithfully enforced and that law and order is maintained in the city, and shall have general supervision of the administration of city government and all city interest. [Ord. 2349 § 2, 1983].

The mayor shall devote full time to execution of the duties of the office of mayor and shall not engage in any occupation or professional inconsistent with the full-time performance of the duties of mayor. [Ord. 2349 § 4, 1983].

Ken Reidy

 

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