Mayor-appointed group to scrutinize council rules

August 5, 2011

By Tim Pfarr

Councilmembers get heated regarding efficiency

A mayor-appointed subcommittee will examine the City Council’s rules of procedure and recommend changes at the beginning of next year.

Councilman Rich Crispo and Councilwoman Carol Simpson brought the issue forward, and after voting 6-1 — with Crispo dissenting — to wait until January to look at the council’s rules, Mayor John Dulcich decided to create a subcommittee to begin work immediately.

The subcommittee will consist of Crispo, Simpson and Deputy Mayor Steve Buri

The creation of the subcommittee came in the wake of a heated exchange between Dulcich and Crispo about the end of the council’s four-hour meeting July 5.

“I think it’s in our best interest if we do something to enable us to be more effective than we are,” Crispo said as the time approached 11 p.m. “I have concerns about how efficient we’re being and how effective we’re being.”

The back and forth continued until Dulcich, who admitted he was getting cranky, retorted.

“Rich, just because people don’t agree with you all the time doesn’t mean there’s a problem with the rules,” he said. “I, quite frankly, think we’re getting stuff done.”

Crispo retorted as well.

“You’re one of seven votes,” he told Dulcich. “You don’t control everything by yourself, and I don’t know why you feel if somebody’s got a problem with the council it’s the same as saying, ‘I’ve got a problem with John Dulcich.’”

In an interview after the meeting, Crispo said it is in the best interest of residents to be more efficient.

“The way it is right now, we do way too much discussion, way too much deferring until another meeting,” he said. “Look at what we’ve accomplished this year: almost nothing. Let’s stop flapping our gums when we don’t need to.”

Simpson said the council needs a provision defining how the council comes to a consensus, and that ordinances should come before the council twice before the council takes action.

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