Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
It’s hard to find the words for the stupid going on right in front of me as I watch tonight’s City Council meeting. CC. Rodney Elliot has yet again decided the laws of the Commonwealth do not apply to him.
He tried to get a suspension of the rules over the report released (I think, yesterday) regarding a negative federal audit of the LHA. This is, of course, long after the Friday deadline to get things on the City Council agenda.
Smelling some juicy poo that he could fling at any number of his enemies (the Mayor, the Lynch administration, whoever), Elliot decided that open meeting laws in no way trump his need to scream like a tiny tiny child over the issue. When an item is not able to get on the agenda, you can, in a time sensitive situation, suspend rules to discuss something not on the agenda. This is particularly supposed to be reserved for things with real deadlines. This method is not supposed to be abused for bringing up breaking news before half the city or Councilors have a chance to even see it (never mind the LHA Board which meets this week and has had no time to properly address it).
Let’s examine the reasons behind not popping impromptu items up in a meeting. They revolve around the open meeting laws and giving residents and Councilors alike enough time to review said issue, a heads-up, if you will. Agendas get published in a timely manner ahead of a public meeting for a reason - it’s not just an exercise in paperwork. This is self-evident reasoning, as well as codified in actual state freaking LAW.
After the Chair (Mayor Murphy) ruled that the motion to suspend the rules was illegal on the merits, Elliot just did not shut up. He did his usual YOU DISGUST ME SIR routine, and the Mayor appealed to the city solicitor, who said the Chair ruled, and that was the ruling. Elliot challenged the Chair’s ability to rule on the issue! Um, did you miss the part where he’s the Chair? And then, the crowning crescendo of utter audacity, Elliot calls, “Roll call!” In the same tone you hear the Chair say roll call. Not in a tone demanding a roll call. Not in a tone asking for a roll call. Calling FOR a roll call. Which. Is. Not. His. Job.
The thing that gets me, every time he pulls this crap, the thing that galls me, astounds me, and makes me want to punch my perfectly good walls until they resemble Swiss cheese, is that Elliot has been a Councilor for years. YEARS. It’s not like he does not know how Robert’s Rules work. It’s not like he’s a n00b in operating under the Commonwealth of Massachusetts General Laws governing municipal meetings, or has zero experience with Open Meeting laws.
He just. Doesn’t. Give a shit.
There’s more to this circus, including Kennedy dragging it back up later, and I will get you video. If you missed this tonight, you will want to watch it.
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