Limiting Participation: Changing the Council Rules
Immediately after the “council clique” took office, the clique’s newest member, newly sworn in 3rd Ward Councilman Rod Jennings proposed changes to the council rules which would have effectively prohibited the two “minority” council members from being able to place any item on a city council agenda without the blessing of the majority. This council rule change was to be done at a special meeting of the council and was met with near record crowds of citizens holding signs “let every voice be heard” and many citizens spoke out against silencing the minority. In the end, under extraordinary pressure, the rule was not changed, but rather a new rule was created to prevent council members from adding previously “disposed of” resolutions to the agenda for a period of 1 year.
Most recently, this rule was ignored when the council voted to commit $7Million in funds that could have been used to fix our streets to a yet to be determined police station. The resolution to commit the funds had been previously disposed of when it was removed from the resolution at the previous meeting. The Mayor overruled the objections of the “minority” councilmembers that the rules were being applied differently for different councilmembers.