Or just an example of what’s to come. Yes, I did miss the meeting. I had previous plans on the 14th. I was spending my time with my wife, son, daughter-in-law, and daughter. Our son was scheduled off-duty from the blue line. Not that it matters to some hot airs, but to you who care about the truth. I had plans months ago to watch my son’s ball games on the Tuesday nights we do not have Council meetings. I had thought depending on what time his game was on the 14th, I might be able to do both. Part of our family’s tradition has been to eat at Hungry Howies at one of those games during the season and since this was his last game of the season we decided to go to Hungry Howies that night. I am not sure why some people think its acceptable to change a meeting so other members of Council can spend time with their family, but it’s not acceptable for me to spend time with my family which I had already planned based on our Council’s schedule. Or maybe it’s just some hot airs like to make hot air.
As the planning for the improperly requested special-called meeting started to take place and the questionable legality of why we needed a special-called meeting, I decided I would steer clear, since anything decided at that meeting would probably be voidable. Here’s why.
State Law 5-7-250 states “municipal governments shall meet regularly once in every month as such times and places as the Council may subscribe by rule”. That rule is our ordinance, Section 2-61, which states “regular meetings of the council shall be held at the Town Municipal Building at 7:00 pm on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, unless changed by a majority of members present at any regular meeting”. The meeting scheduled for the 21st was a regular meeting, the meeting on the 14th was a special-called meeting by three unknown council members. And I say that because we have no written record of three council members formally requesting Bob to do an agenda for a special-called meeting. State Law and our Town Ordinance requires us every December to vote on a schedule for our upcoming meetings. We did that December 2016. All our 2017 meetings are on that list. Since our ordinance only allows us to cancel a regular meeting at a regular meeting, and since State Law requires us to meet once regularly in every month, and since we had already cancelled the other regular meeting on November 7th due to elections, we technically cannot cancel the 2nd regular meeting, and we definitely can’t call a special-called meeting to cancel a regular meeting. Regardless of whether a majority of Council votes, desires, etc. to do so or not, that’s not following State Law or our Town Ordinance. State law also says a Council cannot pass laws that conflict with State or Federal Laws. Unless, maybe some feel they are above the law.
I personally know some on Council do not believe that. I also know it is evident some on our Council do not care. One council member stated that if his colleagues all agreed to cancel the 21st meeting then that makes it okay. I disagree. I believe we have a higher standard to follow our own laws. If we think we are above them, why shouldn’t the rest of the people in town be able to ignore them?
I will not get into the prerequisites of calling a special-called meeting, but I do think it’s sad that council members with 13-14 years of experience still do not know what some proper procedures are. I don’t accept the fact I have to be the one to educate members with more years of experience than myself. Even if I had informed council I could not make the meeting because of pre-set plans or I don’t think they are going about it the right way, or they can’t do it at all, I don’t believe it would have made any difference to a couple of them. Besides it is not just Council who had to change their schedule. Our attorney, our police chief, town administrator, town clerk, and two others are always at the meetings. What about their plans? What about the public who knows we meet the 1st and 3rd Tuesday that have the schedule from December 2016 who may have made plan to be there that night, and/or to be somewhere else on the 14th? There is a reason the Law is written the way it is written. Council is not the only one whose schedules should be considered. And should not be the only consideration for moving a meeting.
My pizza was good, and my son’s team won. I hope people can respect I was spending time with my family, and if Al Dozier would have done his job and called before they ran their story, you would have known that.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving,
Mayor Hardy King