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Dan Coffey didn’t make it to tonight’s city council meeting, although a few minutes before seven, he was busy like a beaver on social media.
Coffey pitching craft beer? New Albany never ceases to amaze.
In the Wizard’s convenient and surely coincidental absence — he also skipped a March non-binding resolution condemning white supremacy — his colleagues inadvertently raised an interesting procedural point by unanimously approving Greg Phipp’s request to insert the previously unannounced solidarity resolution into the agenda.
In short, the events in Charlottesville occurred over the weekend, past the deadline for agenda items. Because public speaking time at council meetings requires signing one of two sheets (either agenda or non-agenda items), and since there was no way of knowing the resolution would be inserted, there also was no way of knowing to sign up to speak about it.
It didn’t matter this evening, but machinations like this need to be watched carefully in the future.
Of course, the motion to insert Phipps’ resolution might also have garnered a “no” vote and failed the test of unanimity. Coffey would have cherished pulling this particular plug, and Scott Blair, who after a brief dalliance with pragmatism has newly rediscovered his uneasiness with non-binding resolutions, might have but didn’t.
Consequently, and oddly, the newspaper’s Elizabeth Beilman devotes the bulk of her coverage to two items that did NOT appear on the announced agenda: Phipps’ resolution, and Tony Nava’s non-agenda public speaking clinic on neighborhood issues.
Three quick questions for CM Phipps:
Exactly which Human Rights Commission?
The one you only recently (and publicly) conceded was moribund?
It’s too bad Jeff Gahan built the HRC to fail, isn’t it?
That sort of thing could come in handy during times like these, but there it rests, up on blocks, in the bunker’s down-low garage.
New Albany City Council approves resolution condemning white supremacy displayed in Charlottesville
Councilman Blair abstains, says resolutions not council’s role
NEW ALBANY — Though it bears no legal weight, a proclamation approved by the New Albany City Council on Thursday is meant to take a stand against acts of white supremacy in Charlottesville, Va. last weekend.
Entertainingly, Beilman was paying extra close attention to Blair.
While (Blair) said he agrees with its content, a non-binding resolution that makes a statement of this nature isn’t the council’s role, he said. Blair read from Indiana code during the meeting, which states the council passes legislation concerning “the government of the city, the control of the city’s property and finances, and the appropriation of money.”
Blair argued the council’s role is to work on local issues and that government functions better when its sticks to its pertinent role.
“I think it’s just a waste of time,” he said. “For instance, I probably had more budget items I wanted to talk about but it became more of a distraction.”
In fact, Blair stepped into a buzz saw.
This isn’t the first time Blair said he hasn’t voted in favor of non-binding resolutions of a similar nature. In the past, he said they often overwhelm council discussion.
But he did vote in favor of a resolution condemning the promotion of intolerance this March, after white supremacists and anti-Semitic fliers were posted around New Albany and on the door of a local restaurant owned by Muslim immigrants.
I’ll return to Nava’s thoughts tomorrow. Right now, I’m turning in.