Dear Stan, I beg to differ with some of your premises and conclusions in last week's editorial. First and foremost, council cannot tell the city manager to replace staff. We can replace the manager. We can tell the manager that we have no confidence in particular staff. We can bring to the manager privately or publicly concerns about staff. But we cannot direct the manager to hire or fire, move or discipline staff. One of the outcomes of pulling items from the consent agenda is that sometimes it indicates to the manager and to staff that we do not have confidence in some particular action put forward by staff. Other things that removing an item from consent agenda might indicate.
- We don't understand the item and need an explanation. With agendas now arriving Wednesday evening before a Monday meeting, there is frequently not time to review all the items and get answers before the meeting.
- Some of our constituents don't understand an item and have asked us questions and we want the answers to be heard by the public.
- We feel an item may be misconstrued by the public because we know why it's there but the public hasn't been privy to the same information. We want staff to have a chance to avoid distrust by getting to explain. (I have done that one.)
- We sometimes do feel that an item has been intentionally "hidden" in the consent agenda by staff. So there.