Time to fight over Prop A implementation

This is gonna be so much fun.

During the first-ever Proposition A Committee meeting on Tuesday, council members considered a series of rules designed by the mayor’s office to set parameters around the process. They include a lawfulness review by the legal department, the involvement of relevant department heads and a requirement for all such proposals to go through the Proposition A Committee.

If enough council members attend the committee meeting to reach a quorum, they will also vote on the item to signal their support for or opposition to sending it to the next stage, although those behind the proposal will still have the option to pursue it, per Proposition A, even in the case of a “no” vote, officials said.

“We are not here to be a gatekeeper. We certainly don’t even want to vet items so to speak in this committee. Nor do we want to block items,” said Council Member Carolyn Evans-Shabazz, vice chair of the Proposition A Committee. “We certainly know that sometimes they need to be tweaked, and so this committee process will help in that manner.”

Multiple council members, however, raised concerns that, since the city attorney and department heads report to the mayor, the proposed procedures risk jeopardizing their rights to add items to the agenda should the mayor disagree with their proposal.

“What we are doing now is really convoluting the intent of Prop A,” Council Member Martha Castex-Tatum said.

Steven David, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff, reassured members that his office would cooperate with them throughout the process. But Council Member Julian Ramirez said regardless of the current mayor’s intentions, these rules, which will likely outlast Whitmire’s tenure, could present a risk to future city administrations.

Ramirez requested more time for the body to consider the new procedures, and all attending council members voted to approve his motion.

“One day we might find ourselves, or this council might find itself, working with a mayor who is not as forthcoming or welcoming of comments from council members and might be rather dictatorial and might seek to squelch discussion and debate,” Ramirez said.


The Proposition A Committee will resume discussions about the mayor’s proposed rules during its next meeting, scheduled for May 16. Members will gather additional suggestions in the meantime.

Council Member Amy Peck, for instance, said there should be a new rule stating that if there are not enough members present at the committee meeting to make a vote, the item shall automatically move to the council agenda within two weeks.

“It’s reasonable that people should be at every committee meeting, but that’s just not realistic and it’s not what happens,” Peck said on Tuesday. “If I have something I brought forward and I want that vote taken… I think the public would want that vote taken.”

See here and here for some background. I mean, I was initially against Prop A, mostly on the belief that it would be used for mischief, then was eventually persuaded to support it anyway. Mischief hasn’t been an issue so far, unless you consider the Mayor’s involvement to be a form of that. I think the suggestions from the Mayor are reasonable, but I can see how a Prop A advocate might bristle at them. Certainly, ensuring sufficient attendance for the committee on a regular basis is a concern, as is the thought that a Prop A ordinance is being stalled via attendance shenanigans, and to that effect I think CM Peck has the right idea. When I thought Prop A might be trouble, this wasn’t how I envisioned it. We’ll see what the next meeting brings.

Related Posts:

This entry was posted in Local politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Time to fight over Prop A implementation

  1. C.L. says:

    I’m no Nostradamus, but I have a feeling John Whitmire ain’t gonna be the cat he campaigned as…

  2. Pingback: Parking meter extended hours proposal withdrawn | Off the Kuff

Comments are closed.