During Tuesday night’s city council meeting Mayor TenHaken asked councilor Brekke to ‘Whip the Vote’ (FF: 1:02). It didn’t go over well with Brekke. She made it clear to him that’s not how things work (in municipal government). The council has the right to bring legislation forward before the meeting or to ask for a reconsideration during the meeting. Brekke had already talked to her fellow councilors about the plurality ordinance in advance, when it failed she tried to amend it. This happens on the fly.
While it is a positive thing that PTH realized he was in the wrong and apologized to Brekke (I guess in a public setting) it still doesn’t change the fact that we have a very partisan City Administrator. City government doesn’t work like Washington, there are distinct differences. It is a non-partisan form of government set up to serve all involved, the taxpayers of our city. We don’t want them to vote on ‘party lines’ because there isn’t any, but seems for the last several years the councilors belong to either the Developer Class Party or the Citizen Party – a terrible divide.
This goes back to the mayor not knowing his roles and duties under charter. He is the city administrator in charge of making sure the city operates smoothly within the budget set forth. In other words, he is the employee manager. It is NOT his job to set policy. He should not even have voted on the ordinance. It should have just failed on a tie. I think if the mayor wants to get involved in policy votes he needs to explain his vote. He knew well in advance that he might have to break the tie, he also expressed to the media he would probably vote NO if the opportunity did arise. So tell us why? I don’t think he knew why, because it was just another vengeance vote with the other 4 councilors. A horrible way to set policy, I’m sorry to say.