- Burlington VT - Ward 4 and Ward 7

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City Council President Not Welcome at Mayoral Department Head Meetings.

For some reason, every New North End City Councilor opposed the resolution to include the City Council President in department head meetings. It seems like a perfectly reasonable idea. To me, it seems the only downside would be that the meetings might last a little longer. The Mayor would still be in charge, so the idea that the President's participation would interfere with the Mayor's authority seems misguided. Any disagreements between the Mayor and the President in front of a department head might be seen as under cutting the Mayor's authority, but in reality the Mayor would still have the final say in the meeting and therefore reinforce that authority. Having more elected representatives involved in these meetings would help, not hinder the process of running the various city departments in a more open and transparent way. If we had more eyes on Burlington Telecom early in the process, we very well might have avoided many of the problems that still exist today. I was encouraged to see all of the New North End City Councilors support the resolution regarding an update on the Moran Plant put forth by Paul Decelles, but this makes the opposition from all of them even more perplexing. If the City Council President or another councilor had been in attendance to these kinds of meetings, the update could be asked for and answered without the need for a special resolution.

I invite comments on this from the City Counselors and anyone else.

To skip to the discission, select Broadband Video from the pull down menu and choose "Monthly & Special Meetings of Department Heads and Appointed Officials" from the scrolling list.

The Resolution (submitted 2011-05-02)

Sponsored by: Councilors Adrian, Berezniak, Blais


In the year Two Thousand Eleven Resolved by the City Council of the City of Burlington, as follows:

That WHEREAS, the Burlington City Council has powers that extend to each and every department and special projects of the City of Burlington pursuant to Burlington City Charter Section 48; and

WHEREAS, the City Council must confirm the initial appointment and reappointment of nearly every department head and appointed official in the City of Burlington pursuant to City Charter Sections 116 and 122; and

WHEREAS, the City of Burlington is chartered as a municipal corporation pursuant to Section 1 of the City Charter with powers that allow "under the name of the City of Burlington; and by that name may sue and be sued, prosecute and defend in any court; may have a common seal and alter it at pleasure; may take, hold, purchase and convey such property as the purposes of the corporation may require; may borrow money on the credit of the city, in the mode and under the restrictions hereinafter provided;" and

WHEREAS, the department heads and appointed officials of the City of Burlington work for the City Council as well as the Mayor in their capacities as elected representatives of the municipal corporation of the City of Burlington and are thus a shared resource;

WHEREAS, the Mayor of the City of Burlington attends meetings with all department heads and appointed officials at least once a month to discuss the affairs of the City; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to City Charter Section 117, the City Council President is next in-line in the succession to the Mayor, should the Mayor become unable to serve for any reason; and

WHEREAS, in order to keep the Council informed and in order to insure efficient and continuous operations for all City departments and special projects, it is appropriate to have the City Council President, as the leader of the City Council, participate in every monthly or special meeting of the department heads and appointed officials;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that commencing with the next monthly or special department heads and appointed officials meeting following the passage of this resolution, the City Council President respectfully requests to be notified of such meeting and respectfully requests to attend and participate in said meeting as well as all subsequent monthly or special department heads meetings; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if the City Council President is not able to make a monthly or special department heads and appointed officials meeting, the President may designate another City Councilor to attend said meeting.

Last Updated on Monday, 04 March 2013 19:48  


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