Saturday, March 15, 2008

Rules of Order

Some of you may have caught a comment by Matt Hall at the last Council meeting. Basically, he apologized to me for a lack of clarity in the rules governing when resolutions may be offered during special meetings of the Council (regular meetings are the second Tuesday of every month and have their own particular rules... while special meetings are most every other meeting and have their own particular rules).

Anyway, if any of you were confused about why Matt brought up the issue of special meetings... and when resolutions are permitted... it was because of me and what I felt were two sets of rules for special meetings... with one set of rules applying to the majority and one set of rules applying to the minority.

Here's my point:

Step back in time to the June 26, 2007 special meeting known as Shenanigate. Hopefully, you'll recall that the Chairman used agenda item 14 (see the agenda here) to introduce his own resolution... which he then explained to Mr. Orsini was well within the Council's rules for special meetings:

Fast forwarding in time to the February 26, 2008 special meeting, please read item 6 on the agenda here.

Yet I'm prohibited from introducing my own resolution

Anyway, Matt is the Chairman and I understand the Town Attorney agrees with him. So my next question... will someone explain to me what exactly is the difference between the Shenanigate resolution and the pool resolution?

I really did appreciate Matt's words, but it doesn't resolve this for me. I'm left with the feeling that we're still operating under two sets of rules... Rules which govern the portion of the meetings that have been predetermined by the Democratic majority behind closed doors in caucus... and rules which govern the portion of the meetings that I consider to be the "open" part of the meetings in which both the public and GOP minority are allowed to participate... allowed to participate only until being given the Heisman... such as when I asked about the town's gas use policy.

I will ask the Town Attorney for greater clarification. But until then, I thought I owed the public an explanation about why Matt made his comments during the meeting last week.

Tim White

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

The shenanigate resolution was a waste of energy and the pool resolution would save energy that the difference.

Anonymous said...

I believe we have to many Lawyers on the TC. They always talk down to everyone and have to explain all the legal BS. We need real people who can talk in plain english and say and do something the will help all the citizens of this Town. Please do what is right for us.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the June '07 statement by Mr. Hall - that the resolution on the floor had been written only moments before and distributed by the TM during a council break - was a bold-faced lie. The resolution had been type written on Cheshire letterhead. It would have been physically impossible to draft a resoltion, hand it to the TM, have it typed up, copied, and distributed in a matter of 2 or 3 minutes.

Mr. Orsini caught Mr. Hall in a one of the most blatant lies I have ever heard spoken by a town council member. But being the gentleman that he is, Mr. Orsini did not speak the thought that was undoubtedly going through his mind.

Had he wanted to push the issue, all Mr. Orsini had to do was ask the TM to confirm the statement (and his role) and Mr Hall would have been exposed for what he is.

tim white said...

12:45 to the best of memory, the typed resolution I received was not on Cheshire letterhead.

Having said that, Esty made the motion. And if I were making THAT motion, I certainly would've read it and digested it long before I "made the motion" during the meeting... but this behavior doesn't surprise me. It fits neatly into the overall pattern I see with this Council majority....

motions are allowed at special meetings... if it suits their purposes...

terminology must be understood (RFI), if it suits their purposes (no one needed to understand fund balance terminology)

questions may be asked of the TM, if it suits their purposes (I know questions get asked of the TM that are not "pre-vetted" during Council meetings... but when I ask about gas use policy... "it's late... we need to move on.")

Anonymous said...

Rules are rules and they should be the same for all council members. They should also be clearly written in some form so that they can be easily referred to. I hope you do get clarification on these rules, Tim. And if it turns out that you should have been allowed to introduce a resolution, then Mr. Hall owes you an apology. Perhaps this issue should also be referred to Ordinance Review as it seems to be a procedural issue.

Anonymous said...

I find it hilarious to hear lawyers saying they "don't know what that terminology means".
The layman can undrstand that perfectly, but the lawyers would prefer to put in legal language that they are taught in law school. I think it's like a secret language that they speak so the rest of us don't understand it.
I am totally in favor of having someone look into a more feasible way to operate the pool.The lawyers would rather question the wording of how it is being asked rather than the body of the request.
Stay strong Tim and continue to fight for the people of Cheshire.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:55 AM

Fabric guy, well drilling guy, insurance guy,auditor guy, Law degree gal, lawyer guy, accountant private industry guy, not sure what she does gal, teacher/coach guy, town manager, town attorney.

That's the seating order from left to right and their respective "specialties".

Anonymous said...

That's two (lawyers) to many for me. Some of these other guys own their own business which is good for the council. They know about dealing with real money issues.... They must earn the money before they can spend it.

Anonymous said...

Is it me or could the demo majority and the town manager be any more arrogant? I have had enough of these people. It is time for Mr. Hall and Altieri and ECke, specifically to go...and I think Mr. Milone has outdone his usefulness........enough is enough. This town is a joke....poorly run in virtually every way...