A quick little Separated at Birth, sent in by an long time reader:
Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle and Megamind (it’s all in the forehead…and the ego).
We heard this about a meeting between Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle and Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps.
Phipps was recently invited to a meeting with the Mayor and various other elected officials and bureaucrats to talk about satellite voting.
(Satellite voting is putting voting locations in places that the election commissioner chooses — usually for a period of weeks — such as grocery stores, libraries, malls. Of course there is almost always an argument from one candidate or the other that said location only helps one candidate, etc.)
Well actually the Mayor proceeded to TELL Phipps that he was going to allow satellite voting in North and South Omaha from now on. Phipps then reportedly thanked the Mayor for his opinion, but reminded him that the Election Commissioner makes the decision when/if to conduct satellite voting. The two proceeded to get into a heated exchange.
The Mayor then told Dave (again, we paraphrase, and this is second-hand…)
“YOU WILL do it or I will get a judge to tell you to do it.”
Election Commissioner Phipps proceeded to wish the Mayor luck with that option.
He then attempted to tell the Mayor about the costs associated with such an endeavor and reminded the Mayor of other existing convenience options available to voters. As usual, the Mayor didn’t really care to hear a different opinion.
The Mayor then told Phipps he was not concerned about costs — which lead to an immediate classic closing by Phipps that went something like this:
“I guess you are right Mayor. If I hired the same homeless people that you paid to vote for you, I suppose I could staff satellite voting relatively cheaply.”
We would have paid top dollar to see the look on the Mayor’s face at that point.
And onto the Omaha Mayor’s other quandry…
Mayor Suttle told the City Council that if they make ANY changes to the contract he negotiated with the Fire Union, he would veto their proposal.
Huh. Well, OK.
There are a quite a few clauses you can argue over in that agreement. But let us focus on one particular term and suggest that NO ONE should ever agree to it or something like it.
See Article 43 of the proposed agreement which reads:
Both parties agree that this Agreement, along with any relevant memoranda of understandings, general orders from the Fire Chief, and/or Executive Orders from the Mayor, expresses the full and total agreement between the parties.
This, kiddos, means that either prior or after (the terms don’t specify) the agreement is in place, the Mayor can issue an Executive Order that can take precedence over ANYTHING in this agreement. Or that the Fire Chief can issue a “general order” and do the same thing. Or that both can issue an MOU and change, essentially, whatever they want.
Why could they do such a thing? Because the agreement says they can!
Now we are sure that some of you Legal Beagles, and not so beaglly, may argue that that this is only prior to the agreement, or that the City Charter would not allow this or some such.
But that is not what the agreement states.
This term leaves the entire contract WIDE OPEN for change by the Fire Chief and/or the Mayor, and the City Council will have absolutely ZERO say about it.
Now why would/should the City Council agree to such a term? We would love to hear the argument.
Oh, but if this is removed, the Mayor will veto.
THAT is the current state of Omaha City Government.
Happy / angry about the current state of the GOP Presidential nominations? The Don Walton (and probably most others) thinks it is now a three-person race (Romney-Perry-Bachmann).
Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts.
And when your thoughts wander to making purchases on Amazon.com, be sure to click through Leavenworth Street’s Amazon ad link for it! (Ha!)