Here are two videos from the city website showing the public comment period from the March 6 City Council meeting. The comments from the public were all concerning the decision by Mayor Kelly to establish her own charter review commission.
I have a certain sympathy for the frustration of the people supporting the charter that was defeated. Many worked very hard in support of the city manager form of government.
Having said that, the videos reflect the anger and conflict that dominated this last year over the issue. As someone who has endured many struggles over many years, a sense of historical perspective and of proportion seems in order. The Mayor’s initiative means the that those seeking to totally change the city’s form of government will have to wait till 2019 to put their proposal on the ballot again. This delay of not quite two years seems like a blink to me. The city is flourishing and there is no crisis. I know that their narrative during the campaign was one of urgency to address what they saw as a crippled government. This tendency to raise even modest issues (and I would say that changing our form of government pales before more serious crises in the world) to heated levels rivaling going to war cripples our ability to argue civilly with each other.
I must say that watching the Council in this video is a welcome sight compared to what is going on in Washington.
My guess is that the Mayor decided that the city would benefit from a year or so without the craziness that created a poisonous environment in our city during this past year. I give her great credit for having the poise and self confidence to not respond to the pointed attacks on her made by members of the public during the comment period.
This is a video of the statements by the public:
This is a video of the Council members’ responses: