The City Council continues to have problems properly notifying the public regarding what will transpire at their meetings. Accounts Commissioner Moran’s campaign to take full control over outdoor dining has been plagued by missteps and the confusion continues with tonight’s agenda.
At Moran’s request, the city began in January to schedule public hearings on extending public dining, but as there was no actual proposal posted anywhere, no one showed up to comment. It was basically a waste of time to schedule them.
Finally, last Friday night Commissioner Moran included an actual proposal in the preliminary agenda for Tuesday’s meeting. It immediately ran into problems. His proposal, as readers may recall, gave him sole authority over outdoor dining. Unfortunately, as Public Works Commissioner Skip Scirocco was quick to inform him, this violated the city charter as the Department of Public Works has authority over the city’s streets and sidewalks.
At Monday morning’s agenda meeting Moran referenced an amended document that would give both Moran and Public Works authority over the establishment of outdoor dining. This change to the code was substantive and interim City Attorney Tony Izzo seemed to be saying that this would require new notices for a hearing on a new document.
So tonight’s agenda indicates there will be yet another public hearing on Moran’s proposal and his agenda no longer includes a vote on his proposal, only a discussion.
The problem is the document that is supposed to be the focus of Moran’s discussion and the public hearing is not the one that includes Public Works.
So we have the worst of two worlds. The document for the hearing is still the obsolete one from Friday night so the public does not have the benefit of accessing the current proposal, and the city still has a hearing scheduled. Some innocent person may attend tonight’s meeting to react to a proposed amended code that is not the one that is actually being considered.