Recently, Scott Lewis chided me for not doing enough to fix the city’s toilet .

While I appreciate his confidence in the way I’ve structured the office of Council President, Scott may not be looking hard enough at the progress we’ve made so far this year. Given what we’ve been through, no one takes these reform measures more seriously than the City Council, and each of us has been elected (2006) or re-elected (2004 and 2006) on the promise that we would take the necessary steps to identify and fix the problems that led us to where we are today. Those problems date back to the 1980s, and won’t be fixed overnight. But the progress made so far this year by the council has been substantial.

Here’s a partial list of the measures I’ve supported or steps I’ve taken as Council President to move the city forward:

  • Scheduled a series of special meetings dedicated to Mayor Sanders’ reform package.
  • Began the creation of a financial training system for Councilmembers and key staff, which is currently being developed by our Independent Budget Analyst.
  • Supported advancing all 121 of the mayor’s remedial recommendations.
  • Directed the city attorney in a series of memoranda beginning last April to bring a series of ordinances before the council to codify changes to the city’s agreement with employee groups and end the improper use of excess pension earnings. The council will finally vote next week to codify the 2005-2006 MOU with employee groups. These changes will both save the city millions of dollars and more accurately budget for our pension obligations.
  • Supported the placement of Propositions B & C on the ballot.
  • Supported independent investigation by the city’s Audit Committee, which finally issued its report at a special council meeting in August.
  • Reorganized the order of business at City Council to allow for more efficiency and time-certainty, while saving the city money by avoiding the added costs associated with late-night meetings.
  • Supported and assisted in scheduling of four special meetings of the council’s Budget Committee dedicated to in-depth review of the mayor’s proposed budget. This allowed for greater public scrutiny and the public airing of questions for the mayor’s staff.
  • Supported the mayor’s Business Process re-engineering proposals that have come before council, with the goal of maximizing the performance of various city departments.

These steps are only the first few on the road to recovery.

Our toilet works, Scott, and we are actively flushing. But that’s enough on your analogy. Coming up, I’ll share my goals for 2007 and beyond.


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