A Disturbing Night at City Hall
Citizens and off-duty police officers showed up for the Common Council Police Committee meeting on Monday night to protest the resignation of Gary Graziano as police commissioner. Graziano's resignation came after he made an ill-considered statement, expressing a personal opinion, in an official police department press release announcing the arrest of Quintin Cross on the charge of grand larceny.
During the course of last night's meeting, Alderman Tiffany Garriga (Second Ward) was removed from her position on the Police Committee by Common Council president Claudia DeStefano, presumably for "her inability to be fair and impartial in this committee." Roger Hannigan Gilson reports on the meeting in today's Register-Star: "Garriga booted off police committee."
COPYRIGHT 2016 CAROLE OSTERINK
The duty to be "fair and impartial" is an judicial branch responsibility. Members of the legislative branch are supposed to fashion public policy, engage in oversight, and represent their constituents. Even if one disagrees with a council member's point of view on an issue, it is good to have diverse points of view on political bodies, so that all voices are adequately heard and represented, and taken into account.ReplyDelete
To be fair to Claudia DeStefano, she did not say the reason for her decision (which she should do). In my view however, a legitimate basis for removal, is inactivity and unproductively. Having a point of view with which one disagrees, is not.
Though Steve is right about which branch is supposed to be "fair and impartial" and which one is supposed to "represent their constituents," I'm assuming, though it is not said by Gossips or Steve, that Claudia has the right to appoint (and remove) folks from committees for whatever reason she sees fit. Someone with more knowledge of Council rules and regs will clarify this, I hope. --peter meyerReplyDelete
The Rules of Order adopted by the Common Council at the beginning of 2016 contains this paragraph: "The President will appoint Committee chairs and members. The President may change Chairs and members at his discretion. The President will have at his/her discretion the right to organize seating of Council members for any meeting of the body."Delete
Interestingly, at the January 11 organizational meeting, Alderman Tiffany Garriga objected to this paragraph, but it was the last sentence, about changing Council members' seats that she wanted deleted from the document.
"§ C12-6 Powers of President ... The President of the Common Council shall preside at all meetings of the Common Council, and shall appoint all committees thereof ..."ReplyDelete
It's that simple.
Elsewhere, the claim is make that Chief Moore at the subject committee meeting said that Graziano was not given a chance to apologize by the Mayor, but was just asked to resign. Does anyone know what in fact Moore said, if anything, on this? I find it hard to believe that this was not reported, if that occurred.ReplyDelete
Sit tight, Steve. Dan Udell was there to videotape the entire meeting. Gossips will link to that video as soon as it is available.Delete