Tuesday, November 5th Council Meeting
The Volunteer Awards Ceremony preceded the Council Meeting and gave special recognition to individuals in Englewood that give their time to sit on various boards and committees, volunteering their time and services. I am pleased that Englewood has such a large number of volunteers, and believe that is truly what makes Englewood a wonderful city. I commend each and every one of these individuals for all of their hard work.
I greatly appreciate the comments that City Manager Dan Fitzpatrick made at the beginning of the meeting regarding the “controversy” over the police promotions that were recently made. Councilmember Lynne Algrant mentioned that she did not like to have information coming from third party sources. Instead, the City Manager discussed his new procedure, which would provide all members of the Council and myself a summary of all personnel action that has occurred during the week. This will be instituted immediately, and will help to keep each and every one of us updated, so events like this will not occur in the future.
However, this “controversy” was about much more than just the police being promoted. In August, the police ordinance I vetoed was to send a message to everyone that we should be following procedures. I was highly concerned that the majority of the council voted on this ordinance in a matter of 17 seconds – the same night that the council voted on the 2010 budget – eight months into a twelve month year. Additionally, these recent promotions came only two days after the election. You simply cannot vote on something without looking at all of the relevant information. It is about performing the proper studies. We should all have this information available to us, and then be able to debate about it; it is all about transparency. Governments are not run like private industries, and they should be. I believe that I was elected by the people to change this. I give Chief O’Keefe my utmost respect and deference, but I only ask that we all question why things are the way they are – not just to accept them. This is what will make us a more effective city overall.
I also extend my sincere thanks to Acting Fire Chief Gerald Marion, the Englewood Fire Department, and the other surrounding town’s fire departments for the action they took in responding to the three alarm fire that occurred next door to my home. Lives could have been lost, but thankfully were not, and I can only commend the fire department for doing the best they could in this emergency situation.
I am pleased to say that the Finance and Budget Commission has also had its first successful meeting and we are now plowing through an extensive amount of documents. We are working together to prepare and present a budget to the City Manager so we can avoid last year’s budget failures.
Introduction and First Reading…
Ordinance 10-35 would authorize the lease of a portion of Lot 2 in Block 2604 for the location of a cellular communications tower.
Second Reading and Public Hearing…
Ordinance 10-34 was to establish a Citizen’s Finance Committee
227-11-09-10: state contract purchase of DPW truck chassis
228-11-09-10: cancellation of taxes on the Nigerian Consulate
229-11-09-10: authorize award of contract for cleaning and removal of debris from the Overpeck Creek culvert
230-11-09-10: authorize rejection of bid supplementary snow plow services
231-11-09-10: rescind award of contract for emergency curb and sidewalk replacement project
232-11-09-10: authorize award of contract for emergency curb and sidewalk replacement project
233-11-09-10: authorize award of contract for garage lighting entrance
234-11-09-10: authorize application for BC CDBG Grant – Family Teen Center $53,105
235-11-09-10: authorize application for BC CDBG Grant – Family Teen Center $680,100
236-11-09-10: authorize application for BC CDBG Grant – Family Teen Center $60,000
212-11-09-10: simultaneous acquisition and conveyance of premises located at 55-63 West Palisade Avenue and 9 James Street in the City of Englewood
222-11-09-10: amending Chapter 48 Resolution Addendum, withdrawn from the Agenda
Michael Cohen, Councilmember Ward 2-Elect, made great points during the public session. First and foremost, he said that our town is our own responsibility. We should not compare ourselves to other towns – our ambitions should be to just do better than what we are doing right now. Likewise, we will have to make a lot of difficult decisions in 2011 and our city will have to trust us in order to make these decisions properly. We have to understand the time we are living in is incredibly tough, and that we need to be communicating with the public more readily so we have openness in government.
Thank you all for coming out to the Council Meeting, staying active in Englewood, and providing us with your comments. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you need anything.
The agenda for the November 23rd Council Meeting will be posted as soon as it is available.