Both Garriga and DeStefano are members of the Legal Committee, and both were present at last night's Legal Committee meeting. Midway through the meeting, Garriga asked for help from city attorney Ken Dow in drafting a resolution to change the rules of order that the Council had adopted at its organizational meeting on January 11, 2016. She reported that several aldermen had caucused the previous evening and agreed to propose that the second sentence in the third paragraph of Rule #4 Standing Committees be stricken from the document. That sentence states: "The President may change Chairs and members at his discretion."
This paragraph was the subject of concern back in January, and at that time, the final sentence, giving the Council president the power to change the seating arrangement of the aldermen, which may have seemed to some like the desire of a teacher to be able to break up students who whispered and disrupted the class, was deleted. Garriga explained that she and some of her fellow aldermen were now seeking to delete the second sentence because they did not want what happened to her on Monday night--being removed, in public, from a committee with no explanation given for why the action was being taken--to happen to other members of the Common Council.
At this point, Alderman Michael O'Hara (First Ward), who chairs the Legal Committee, suggested that Garriga and DeStefano "work it out between them," because what Garriga was proposing "takes power away from the Council president." Garriga insisted that the Common Council adopted the rules of order and could therefore amend them. City attorney Ken Dow concurred, pointing out that it was only the first sentence of the paragraph in question--"The President shall appoint Committee Chairs and members"--that could not be deleted or altered, because that power was granted in the city charter. O'Hara then advised Garriga to "write up the gist of the resolution" she was proposing and have Dow frame it into a resolution.
Returning to O'Hara's recommendation that Garriga and DeStefano work things out, Garriga stated, "I'm open to discussion. I have no qualms about talking, but I don't think it will go anywhere." DeStefano told Garriga, "I will call you."
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