Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Last Night's Special Common Council Meeting

It was announced that four issues would be considered at last night's special Common Council meeting. Only three of the four were actually voted on, and here are the outcomes.
  • The Council voted unanimously to approve amending the city code to prohibit erecting tents for the purpose of camping on city property. 
  • The Council approved the transfer of $130,000 from the fund balance to pay for the senior center. The vote was unanimous, although Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward) prefaced his vote by saying that he was torn but was voting yes in the hope that "it comes out for the best."
  • After much discussion, the Council approved the police contract with two dissenting votes: Friedman and Nick Haddad (First Ward). In the discussion that preceded the vote, Friedman talked about the need for more community policing, getting officers out of their cars, and fixing the "odd scheduling system." Haddad, who concurred with Friedman in his critique of current practices, asked, "What guarantees to we have that after this contract is signed, we can sit down and negotiate?" Citing the huge portion of the City budget taken up by the police department--between a third and one half--he said, "This is not about being anti-cop; it's about being prudent, and it's about shared sacrifice." Before he cast an aye vote, David Marston said that he wanted the mayor to take the concerns expressed by Friedman and Haddad to the HPD.     
  • The resolution to appropriate $120,000 to complete the demolition and cleanup of the old Foster's Refrigeration site was postponed, because, as Council President Don Moore explained, the City was seeking financial assistance for the project from the Department of Environmental Conservation.

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