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I talked again to Steve McNally, from Councilman Kevin Faulconer’s office.

First off, he said Faulconer is most definitely not on a cruise.

“He is not on a cruise,” McNally said.

But then I heard some more conflicting points — people insisting Faulconer was on a cruise.

I had to call him back.

McNally said then that the councilman is at a timeshare on an island in the Caribbean celebrating his wife’s 40th birthday with friends. The couples all rented a boat that they use to visit other nearby islands. It’s a trip, McNally said, that the Faulconer family planned before he even became a councilman.

McNally said Faulconer couldn’t have known that such big issues would be on the City Council docket while he was in the Caribbean.

And couldn’t they have planned a trip at a time when the council wasn’t in session?

“You can’t change the date of your wife’s birthday,” McNally said.

He said Faulconer is not trying to avoid anything.

“To imply that he planned this to miss out on the firefighters issue is make-believe,” McNally said.

But McNally said he spoke to the councilman last night.

I was intrigued that McNally spoke to him. I asked if Faulconer gave any indication as to what he thinks about whether the firefighters should get a raise. If the councilman wasn’t avoiding the issue, he should be willing to take a stand no matter where he is.

McNally said no — Faulconer’s not privy to the information that’s been discussed in closed session or publicly over the past few days and he couldn’t make a decision without the benefit of that experience.

The council, after all, discussed this issue in private and with the public for at least 10 hours Monday and Tuesday.

Faulconer’s missed a lot.

  • One other point: Some comments under my posts on this have asserted that the council’s 15 weeks of legislative recess this year are akin to vacation. That’s not really true. City Council members work a lot during those weeks. Meetings downtown keep them from visiting their districts and catching up on work. These breaks give them a chance to perform other parts of their jobs.

My only reason for pointing out how many recesses they have is to highlight that these 15 weeks also provide time for the officials to take any vacations they need and deserve. They really have no excuse for ever missing an important public meeting for their vacations.

SCOTT LEWIS

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