Monday, April 20, 2009

City Council Liveblogging...

I'm watching the show via the city website. You can also find a link to tonight's agenda at the same place. I will try to update this blog with my observations as events unfold.

I like reading other live blogging events (such as presidential speeches, debates, etc.) and just thought I'd bring the experience down to a more local level. Last time I tried something like this I found it more difficult than imagined and settled for a review of the meeting instead. Maybe I'll be able to keep up this time.

Here goes...

5:54pm... I'm looking in now on the live link, not on the first try though. Hoping for good internetz tonight.

5:58pm... I have audio, still no video yet. Sounds busy there. AND now I'm getting some hesitations in the audio.

6:00pm... Mayor starts the meeting.

6:03pm... Looks like a ticket scalper was needed to get in.

6:04pm... awards and proclamations time. First up the folks that make up the 'Volunteers in Policing' service program. 15 fine community member will be recognized including former fellow city council candidate Harley Petit. Well done folks and thank you.

6:09pm... Mayor reads proclamations about May being Route 66 Appreciation month. Then the week of April 13th through 19th this year as National Animal Control Appreciation week.

6:12pm... yucks -- having video link issues.

6:15pm... at the end of the animal control part, Ray Lyons pointed out that this proclamation came a bit late.

6:15pm... Call to the Public: First up, (I didn't get the name) brings up that this isn't a good time to raise taxes.

6:16pm... Next up Tom Spear, former city council member. Sounds like a report on the RT. 66 Fun Run and other Rt. 66 Association information. Talked about a workshop held in Flagstaff on issue of forming a scenic highways (or bye ways??).

6:20pm... Next up Harley Petit -- announcing the next Town Hall meeting at the Library next week.

6:21pm... Paulette Dollarhide (sp??) from a volunteer food bank spoke on their efforts. She was great.

6:26pm... didn't get the name but a nice lady says that people should use local contractors. Evoked our president who calls for change.

6:28pm... again, didn't get the name, but this nice lady is talking about the KART service, apparently she heard that KART service might end. Appealing to council to keep the service. (I only heard that service on Saturdays was going to be cut)

6:29pm... consent agenda time. Passed.

6:30pm... Item G on agenda. Rattlesnake Wash related so Mayor and Councilperson Deering excuse themselves.

6:40pm... a discussion clarifying the difference between the ADOT agreement verbiage and Kingman's resolution wording. Is it an up to amount or an estimate?? Council approves the agenda item, 4 to 1 with 2 abstentions.

6:41pm... Mayor moves item 7a, under new business, to this part of the meeting. This is the agenda item about the 2010 Census. Government has hired 200 people in Mohave County to map properties (@ $12/hr and .55 cents a mile). Interesting... but long... presentation.

6:54pm... Still the Census gal, but the video link seems strong at this time and has been since the the last time I commented about it.

6:56pm... Item number 6b is also being moved up on the agenda. Public auction of a parcel out at the airport.

6:58pm... bidding opened. Going once... going twice... sold to a company that will be making custom VODKA's!! They will have tours!! Sign me up.

7:00pm... back on agenda -- item 6a under old business. Economic development stuff expanding the numbers of members on the EDTC from 7 to 9. Council agreed.

7:02pm... agenda item 6c under old business. This is the ordinance involving car repair shops. Would allow repairs outside of an enclosed structure as long as work was complete by end of business day. Tabled to make a change in the wording.

7:18pm... council approves selling water to a rural water company at a wholesale rate for an emergency period of time. Item 7b on the agenda... the agenda is all over the place. I shouldn't have left the room to check scores.

7:19pm... Item 7c, change of special event permit process. Mayor says that public gatherings like the Tea Party would not be affected by this change in the process. Heard some 'conspiracy' talk about this earlier over the weekend... council is putting that talk to bed. A preemptive strike so to say. City attorney says that this permit process does not infringe on the First Amendment.

7:23pm... It just hit me... all this particular discussion puts the 'back room deal' talk to shame.

7:29pm... Way too much government exists. Council et al is discussion all the different permits that an organization needs to put on a special event. Way too much government.

7:30pm... Our buddy Loyd is speaking on this issue. Shocking... Loyd has issues with the ordinance. Give 'em heck Loyd.

7:32pm... Loyd is getting a lesson on law.

7:38pm... Subject to interpretation -- yeah, I'll say. This is probably an important discussion, but I have to make a phone call. I'll be back.

7:46pm... I'm back and see that Mike Bihuniak is up. It looked like there was a big laugh about something, but I wasn't listening at that moment.

7:50pm... issue tabled. I appreciate the efforts of the council on that, but I think they were overdoing it.

7:51pm... okay -- budget talk. Taxes, bond issues, raises... oh my!! Can this issue live up to the billing??

7:54pm... Development investment fee discussion (i.e. impact fees). Interesting discussion... what is being learned is that impact fees can be reduced without the city having to do another study.

8:02pm... Yikes, depending on how things actually have transpired over the years on this issue there might be some unhappy people (that have wanted to reduce impact fees for instance).

8:07pm... moving on to city employee raise issue. This is Ray Lyons' baby all the way I think.

8:10pm... sounds like Council member Deering is on board.

8:12pm... Council member Watson gets some applause by basically saying that she'd not want to see raises go out if it means that other employee positions would get cut.

8:14pm... Council member Young says she rather not give raises now to save other city jobs... same as Watson basically. Good points.

8:16pm... Council member Walker is not on board. Mayor not either it sounds like. Council member Gordon wants to give recognition and maybe an extra paid holiday.

8:17pm... Motion to take out this item (raise) for the next budget, a second... tough decision by the council. Not fun. Motion passes 4-3.

8:20pm... KART gets no cuts.

8:34pm... sales tax issue up now. Council will be asking for an ordinance for the tax increase.

8:35pm... council calls for a special meeting on bond issues.

And with that I'm out. I need to eat dinner. It was fun though.

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