Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Some Dead Council Proposals - Some More Dead Than Others

Longtime readers of this blog will remember mention of Council rules governing how Proposals are to be treated.  Section 151-30 of the Municipal Code says that a Council committee shall consider any Proposal assigned to it within 45 days of its introduction.  Further it says that any Proposal that is tabled for more than 6 months without any consideration for action, shall be deemed dead.
Any permanent or standing committee of the council to which a proposal has been referred shall report to the council upon each such proposal within forty-five (45) days of its referral, either with or without a recommendation, unless the president of the council shall withdraw the proposal or reassign it.  ...   If a proposal is tabled by a committee and no action is taken to remove it from the table or to reassign it during a period of six (6) months, the proposal shall be deemed postponed indefinitely and shall be removed from the calendar of pending proposals.
Any Proposal tabled or postponed indefinitely (without mention of a date certain when it will be considered), is dead there and then.  The Council uses postponed and tabled interchangeably, although Roberts Rules considers them distinctly different.

The agenda for every Council meeting lists at its very end, those Proposals which the Council considers still alive, but which are neither introduced nor acted upon at that particular Council meeting.

The agenda for last night's meeting lists 14 such Proposals.  Several would appear to be on the list in violation of our Ordinances for how the Council shall operate.
Prop 349, 2012 - the Fall Creek/Citizens Consolidated TIF, was introduced in November of 2012; a year and a half ago.  It has been tabled or postponed time and again with no action considered.  It should be dead.
Prop 143, 2013 - the panhandling ordinance, was introduced one year ago, acted on by the committee this past November, and the Council returned it to committee on December 19, 2013.  The committee tabled it indefinitely on January 21, 2014.  It should be dead by dint of the indefinite tabling (a motion that is really postponing indefinitely, or killing a Proposal).
Prop 264, 2013 - seeks to amend Council rules regarding membership of committees, was introduced last November.  It has been postponed with date certain or tabled indefinitely since then.  It is dead by Council rules.
Prop 350, 2013 - seeks to allow discharge of guns for reasons other than self defense outside the old City limits, has a timeline much like the last one.  It should be dead.
Prop 23, 2014 - urging the General Assembly to pass a constitutional amendment that there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in Indiana, was introduced in January.  However, it was tabled in committee without a date certain for its consideration.  It is dead.
Different from those Proposals listed above is Prop 77, 2014. 
Prop 77 was introduced on March 17 and has not yet been heard in committee - in clear violation of the rules.  It would float $7.75 M in City bonds for the "Broad Ripple Project" and $1.5 M in North Mid-Town TIF bonds for Tarkington Park.  In a very unusual move, both the City bonds and the TIF bonds would be repaid by the TIF.  Given that it is such a new TIF, one has to wonder how it City taxpayers can be assured there is enough money to repay both.  Nonetheless - this Proposal should have been brought forward by the committee by May 1.  Rather than being dead, it is more like the walking dead.
I also want to bring up one other Proposal.  Prop 250, 2013, which was introduced last year for the Rebuild Indy 2 project, was tabled indefinitely last year and properly removed from the list of 'live' Proposals.  Yet, someone suggested to IndyStar reporter, John Tuohy, that it is in 'limbo'; presumably somehow still actionable.  It is not.  It is dead.  Not just merely dead, most sincerely dead.

So, what we have is a Council that continues to ignore its own rules.  Four Proposals are dead and should be removed from the list of active Proposals.  There is no penalty in having them reintroduced when appropriate.  One Proposal should have been put on a committee docket by now.  It is very unclear what that really means, except that it is not hard to follow the rules, especially when you make those rules.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

77 apparently passed last night, over two protestors (one of which was a developer wh wanted the joey himself) demanding that the entire Council resign.