Monday, May 03, 2010

Another Reason I Hate Our Republican-Controlled City Council

You can take it to the bank that if there is an important matter before the City-County Council, particularly one involving tax increases and large sums of money, the Republican-led council will do its darndest to suppress public testimony. Tonight's Rules & Public Policy Committee was no exception. Chairman Robert Lutz allowed the same people with the same presentations before numerous prior council meetings and public meetings to present testimony on the proposed sale of the water and sewer utilities to Citizens Energy. That testimony took close to 90 minutes. Instead of allowing the public to comment on the proposal, Lutz decided those of us who don't get paid to attend the meetings but foot the bills for those paid to testify that we should sit around and listen to testimony on the PILOT ordinance. This is the same tactic Lutz pulled before the committee hearing on the CIB tax, spend and borrow ordinance. He thinks it's real cute. Crazy Larry has nothing better to do and will wait to testify. He already offered some ridiculous ranting about charter schools at the beginning of the meeting and jumped to a discussion of the utility deal without interruption by the Chairman. As a life-long Republican, I can't wait until the day Republicans lose control of this council. They haven't earned the right to lead this council for another four years.

UPDATE: I don't know how many of you caught the recording of this meeting on WCTY, but if you were a member of the public waiting to testify on the utility sale, you would have had to wait for 3 1/2 hours. That's right. And Chairman Lutz called a 10-minute recess before allowing the public to testify. To add insult to injury, he limited members of the public to just 2 minutes, even though only three people had stuck around to testify. You were cut off by the sound of a buzzer. No limit was imposed on any of the people being paid to speak on behalf of the proposal for 3 1/2 hours. The three members of the public were Crazy Larry and two disgrunted water company employees. The Republican-controlled council has gone out of its way more than the Democratic-controlled council to bar public testimony on critical issues. This is just another example of how little respect they have for the public.


Downtown Indy said...

I wish ol' Larry would grow up. He's passionate, sure. But he's crazy and the facepaint and 'slave' shirt is really in poor taste. I wonder if all the sane people who want to speak are being penalized by the council not wanting to put up with yet another Larry Rant Show. Not that that's a valid excuse.

Blog Admin said...

I didn't even stick around for the public comment portion. I occasionally have to work in the evenings and can't take four (or more!) hours out of my day for a chance to speak to politicians who are too tired to even pretend to be listening.

Gary is 100% right. The Powerpoint was 95% re-used from the public forums held earlier in the past 2 or so months. I know at LEAST one councilor, Monroe Gray, attended that meeting and saw that all before. The others could've come in 20 minutes early and looked through the printed pages at their seats and read them. Would've saved the rest of us a lot of time.

Citizen Kane said...

Is Larry's nonsense really any worse than the crap following out to the audience?

Gary R. Welsh said...

The councilor's questions were a complete waste of time. They were only posturing. They already knew the answer to their questions. Monroe Gray's questions were a complete waste of time. I wanted to ask him about the MBE contracts he received from United Water.

Marycatherine Barton said...

I can only imagine how disappointed you must be about your fellow Republicans, to the point that you feel so much hatred toward the Republican-controlled Council. We, the public, are so poorly served by them.

dcrutch said...

I read this, then I read the Washington Township referendum, suppossedly NOT increasing taxes. It reads like a tax increase to 5 of the 5 people that have also read it so far!

Do public officals have a clue how much more they're tainting government when referendums are written so only educrats or lawyers can definitively interpret them? What do they think we believe when public input is stifled? That we're happy about it?

I used to joke about rotating the other party back into power, flipping back and forth as in India.

It's not a joke any more. It's a minimal attempt at battling corruption.

Tell us the truth! Make it readable and transparent! Let us make comment! What do you have to hide?

Melyssa said...

I'd rather listen to Larry than those canned presentations and dog and pony shows any day.

Mary Catherine is correct. The People ARE poorly served by these councilors.

We worked day and night to help elect them, too.

We learned from Ed Coleman that if you are a Republican, AND you want to serve The People, you will need to first defect from Republican party to do it.

The Republican Party serves the interests of the elites, not The People.

Gary? Are you ready yet to be a Libertarian? Or do you need more convincing?

Citizen Kane said...

I meant "flowing" not "following."