Watching the video of last Monday’s City Council meeting, (07 May, 2018), so many “Duh?”s happened that I was reminded of a lesson taught by Mrs. Faye, my wonderful fifth grade teacher. I’ll share it with the reader at the end, but first let’s go to the video!
1) Chair Grifoni denied Councilor Batte’s request to make a comment, apparently without even knowing Batte’s subject.
2) Chair Grifoni denied Councilor Brown’s request to add an item to the agenda, again apparently without knowing Brown’s subject, other than Brown stating that it qualified under the Rules of Procedure.
3) The Rules of Procedure allow such additions to the agenda with a simple majority vote, (4 or more). [Section 2(d)]. City Attorney Gabriel confirmed this.
4) Councilor Honig suddenly stated that a change to the Rules of Procedure required a supermajority vote, (5 or more). Strange, because no one had mentioned anything about changing the Rules.
5) As an aside here, the Rules do require a supermajority vote to temporarily suspend, (not change), the Rules. [Section 1(e)]. Honig apparently was confused by the terms suspend and change.
6) None of 4) and 5) above have anything to do with Brown’s request to add an agenda item, but astonishingly enough, Grifoni decided anyway that a supermajority vote would be needed. Even more disturbing was that City Attorney Gabriel did not correct Grifoni.
7) The vote was taken and failed due to the incorrect demand for five votes. It did produce four.
8) At this point, an unknown voice from the audience quite properly raised a “Question of Privilege.”
9) Chair Grifoni improperly refused to hear that individual’s “Question of Privilege.”
Whew! Now, back to what Mrs Faye taught in the fifth grade: “Since light travels faster than sound, some folks will appear bright until you hear them speak.”