New Council President Michael Corrigan thanked the committee for its hard work and wide-ranging report and eagerly anticipated the introduction and debate of the implementing ordinance. 'I have been following the work of the special committee and know that they have been having some very interesting discussions on a wide variety of issues related to how the Council conducts its business. It's good for us to take a look at our operations from time to time to ensure that we're being as careful and as efficient as we can in fulfilling our responsibilities as public servants and legislators.' As evidence of the interest the work of the committee has generated, President Corrigan pointed out that a majority of the council members were in attendance at the news conference.
Committee Chair Lad Daniels gave an overview of the major findings and recommendations of the committee, and thanked the members for their enthusiastic participation and their willingness to seriously question the council's processes and practices. He stressed that, while differences of opinion on particular items were expressed during the committee's debates, there was universal agreement on the objectives of ensuring transparency and accountability in the Council's workings, and ensuring public confidence in the Council's legislative results.
The committee, originally appointed by then-President Kevin Hyde and later continued by President Corrigan, was charged with reviewing the City Council's existing rules and processes on purchasing, surplus property, contract administration, and use of public monies in public projects, or those where a public-private partnership is created. At the time President Hyde said 'The use of public monies is among the most critical decisions we make as a local government. It is imperative that the monies be spent wisely but also that the public have complete confidence in the decision making process we use. I am confident that a thorough review will yield a better and more transparent process, as well as improve the quality of decisions made.'
The committee, comprised of council members Richard Clark, Gwen Yates, Suzanne Jenkins and Art Graham under the leadership of Chairman Lad Daniels, has spent the last 3 months examining the Council's processes and procedures and developing a package of findings and legislative recommendations. The committee's discussions led to an examination of many aspects of the Council's internal legislative operations, and the ordinance that will be proposed by the special committee makes numerous changes in the Council Rules to improve the legislative process and provide additional clarity and accountability to the Council's work.
Contact: Cherly L. Brown, Director at (904) 630-1452.