Gelding the Guardians
10/10/2015 -Article by Renee Wilkins
After months of city staff and Governing Body power plays to gain complete control over the city’s cash cow utilities fund, Councilor Lonnie Clayton has sponsored an ordinance change that would spell the death blow to the Utilities Commission, or at the very least will remove all its authority.
In recent months we’ve seen city officials struggle to validate their desire to continue raising water rates to feed the monster utilities fund. They also want more debt to realize city staff’s dream of a state-of-the-art waste treatment system. And they want to continue to find creative ways to raid the utilities fund when they overspend in the general fund.
What they don’t want is a Utilities Commission that has any authority to stop any of this from happening, nor do they want one that contradicts them in their recommendations. Councilor Clayton has proposed ordinance changes that should fix this neatly.
If passed, this ordinance will:
In one year this Governing Body encouraged by city staff have made more power grabs through ordinance changes and altering rules of procedure than the predecessors they used to criticize. We keep waiting for them to wake from this rabid power feeding frenzy to stand dazed and confused and say “Oh my gosh! What have we done?”
In 2012 the voters unknowingly gave the Governing Body the power to eliminate the Utilities Commission under city ordinance. This Governing Body would never do that, of course - It would be too straight forward. To render the Utilities Commission impotent in this way is cowardly.
The Governing Body will vote on this Wednesday, October 14th. Let’s hope they come to their senses and stop abusing their power.
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