To The Editor:
So much for the transparency campaign promise.
In November, voters made a very strong statement. They put a new party in charge giving the Democrats a six to one majority on the City Council.
However, at the last council meeting, the mayor informed the entire council, that she had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to change the firefighters work schedule to a 24/72 work schedule.
Although there is a fair amount of discussion about whether this is the right decision and there are questions of what it will means for the city, there is little discussion on how it was done.
I’d like to focus on the fact that this was done via an MoU, a legal but not an open process. If this really makes sense, why wouldn’t the council be apprised and allow to debate it?
Councilman Mills appropriately pointed out at the meeting that the previous two mayors rejected this offer to the firefighters, and it is my understanding that although legal, an MoU has not been used to amend contracts in the past. The reason is simple, it doesn’t allow the public to be involved in the process of how we spend taxpayer dollars.
If it is the right thing to do, wouldn’t an open debate and vote from a super-majority council led by the mayor of the same party have been a better way to proceed?