Vote no on 11 to vote yes on transparency
Proponents of this change offer two reasons for you to vote for this. First, they tell you nothing important is done by resolutions so you should not be concerned that you cannot challenge Council decisions. Next, they tell you that you already passed the one and done amendment last year, if you are going to let council reveal, vote on and implement policy in a single meeting, you should also be willing to give up the right to challenge that policy later.
Those of you paying attention will notice that I decided not to run for Mayor again. There are many different things that went into that decision. One of them was that issue 29 passed last election. Issue 29 removed very important transparency protections for the residents of this city. Transparency and letting you know what goes on in this city is the number one promise I made to residents. Passage of an amendment that makes it standard practice for us to get only one reading of legislation dealing with important issues indicates that my standards vary significantly from others. If people really do not care what their council members are doing, then it makes sense for me not to run. It also makes sense for you to adopt this amendment and complete the task of eliminating all your checks and balances on council.
On the other hand, in all my post-election conversations, people I talk to universally wonder how Issue 29 passed. In examining this, a couple things come to the forefront. For instance, in the precinct that I stood at and handed out cards explaining issue 29, the measure failed 60% to 40%. I noticed that a very large number of people were going to the polls and did not even know there were charter amendments on the ballot. Because of the way, the ballot language was composed many people probably thought they were voting to eliminate “Emergency” legislation. In fact, what the amendment did was make every resolution “Emergency” legislation except without the label.
The other part of the campaign I thought was annoying was that the proponents of Issue 29 would never discuss the decrease in transparency. Instead all they would say is that there were 15 or so people that backed the change and only the Mayor was against it. 15 people have to be smarter than one, so they argued residents did not need to look at the consequences, all they needed to do was to trust them and vote yes.
Passing Issue 11 reduces the checks and balances residents have on council. Because of the post-election feedback I received on Issue 29, I have worked to get people to look at Issue 11. However, you will see council making the same 15 to 1 argument this election and you will also see the ballot language was chosen to hide the fact that if passed this will take away your right to challenge resolutions through referendums.
If this amendment fails, it will restore my faith that residents desire transparency and checks and balances. However, this blog post alone will not counter the ballot language or 15 to 1 argument, Council has spent nearly $10,000 making those arguments. I am spending less than $50 this election. To be successful people must spread the word and talk about the consequences. If checks and balances are important to you, please, talk with other voters and let them know to vote no on issue 11.
Click on the links if you interested in: Issue 4? Issue 7 Mayor Council at Large