Monday, December 13, 2010

City Council Power-Grab

A proposal in City Council is attempting to take away the citizens’ voice and a very important vetting process of all municipal boards and committees.

The most important aspects to know about this proposal are, if voted “yes,” it will:

A. REDUCE boards and committees down to five (5) members (except where required by statute or charter provisions).

B. Each Council Member can appoint one (1) member to each board and committee. The remaining appointed at-large by the City Council.

C. Prolonged membership to two (2) years rather than one (1) year.

You’re probably asking yourself two questions, right now:

1. Why fix something that’s not broken?

2. If any Council Member wants anyone personally appointed to a board or committee, can’t he or she simply ask the person to go through the same application and vetting process, like everyone else?

The operative words here are, “application and vetting process.”

If each Council Member can choose his or her own appointee, without being vetted by the application process (which involves background checks in some cases) and without being vetted by the other Council Members, then each Council Member will have a like-minded person on these citizens’ boards and committees; thereby seizing power away from Palm Bay residents from ever having a voice in some of the most important aspects of City government. This means that all boards’ and committees’ decisions will be under the absolute control of the majority (i.e. only three Council Members) in City Council that wants to drive forth their agenda, un-checked and un-filtered by a free-willed citizenry who has gone through the vetting process to obtain these board and committee positions.

Moreover, another important aspect of this proposal is that “… any board member can be removed by a majority plus one of the City Council.” Therefore, if an appointee is becoming “non-cooperative,” then the other “cooperative” members can simply have their appointers (i.e. Council Members) vote the person out.

So far, there are only two City Council Members opposing this power-grab: Mayor John Mazziotti and Council Member Kristine Isnardi. From what I understand, the other three Council Members are 100% behind this power-grabbing proposol, and it appears they are going to get their way unless we express our concern, in person.

The workshop is being held Tuesday, December 14, 2010 – 6:30 p.m. in City Hall Council Chambers. For more information go to:

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