Former Councilor Tom Keane makes the case, using the firefighter contract award as evidence.
Current Council President Mike Ross rebuts, noting the council has yet to get anything from the mayor to discuss.
Ross just doesn't want to lose his job grandstanding for public adulation, followed by a vote which compromises everything he promised in public. The council is corrupt, gerrymandered, and usually useless. The strong mayor system allows cronyism at its worst and deprives many citizens concerns due process in development issues and budgeting.
The city really needs to reform a new city government under a new charter which focuses on transparent and equitable representation of individual neighborhoods.
Let's face it, the councilors are just rubber stamps of the Mayor, especially Ross who used to work for him and has had a special relationship with him ever since.
Ross knows better than anyone that for him to be a councilor means he must not rock the boat. Unfortunately, as as Mission Hill resident, this leaves his constituents %^*# out of luck. When push comes to shove, he has the Mayor's back even though he slimily gives his constituents, like me, the impression he has ours. It sad to think his father escaped a Nazi concentration camp only to see his son rise to "power" and then be a pawn of another dictator - the Mayor. Then again when you are going to law school when you should be working, who has time to stand up to the Mayor or want to open yourself up to attack.
The council gives the ear of being a checks and balance, but it is not. The Mayor has gotten involved in most ever councilor's race past and present. He does this by steering support to the person he knows he can control. If anything, a bill should be passed to limit his involvement. Otherwise the council should be eliminated because the millions saved from their paychecks as well as their employees could be use to stop the closing of the libraries or the various layoffs of city employees.
Great letter to the editor from a guy who lives less than 10 miles from the Mexican border:
LINES DRAWN ON IMMIGRATION
The Boston Globe
Before you punish Arizona, spend a day near the Mexican border
May 16, 2010
THE BOSTON City Council is clueless (“Council calls for a boycott of Arizona,’’ Metro, May 6). I live less than 10 miles from the Mexican border. I moved here from Maine. Near my home is a route for illegal immigrants to enter Arizona. On many occasions the Border Patrol helicopter flies over the house, rattling windows and shining its searchlight in the yard. In March rancher Robert Krentz was killed on his own land. The day before, eight illegal immigrants were arrested with 280 pounds of marijuana on that ranch. A Pinal County sheriff’s deputy reportedly was ambushed by drug traffickers. He was shot with an assault rifle.
This month my wife heard and saw two Spanish-speaking men in our backyard, looking in the windows. She fled the house. I had to use my own .45 pistol to clear my own house and ensure it was safe to enter.
And you judge us. I wear a gun everywhere I go. People on remote ranches answer the door with rifles in their hands. And you dare tell us not to enforce the law.
Wise up, people. It’s not drug violence in Mexico; it’s drug violence on the border, both north and south of it. Try becoming informed instead of just being opinionated.
Sierra Vista, Ariz.
The writer is a retired Army lieutenant colonel.
...let's see how the Firefighter thing plays out.
A piece in The Phoenix offers a different view of the role of the Council, worth checking out.
Question: How come those busy city councilors, tending to important administrative tasks like the budget, have the time to pursue a law degree that is a 3-year full-time job to anybody else?
Answer: Because they have so few things to do that we might as well rid ourselves of the council.
Funny he makes the case for eliminating the council rather than re-doing the city charter to share power equally rather than having a king for mayor who does whatever he feels like while the city crumbles around him.
> while the city crumbles around him.
... Give credit where credit is due, the guy and his team are out there swinging sledgehammers, not just _waiting_ for things to crumble.
... Give credit where credit is due, the guy and his team are out there swinging sledgehammers --- not just _waiting_ for things to crumble.
A) Shrink it - to maybe 9 or even 7 councilors - any mix of 2-3 at large and/or 5-9 district councilors is probably plenty - anyone want to run on a slate that if we're elected we cut the council by 4-6 as our first act and then fire ourselves?
B) Give them more responsibility and greater checks and balances - e.g. - have the council ratify certain board/committee appointees, more budget oversight, some powers over collective bargaining etc. so the mayor has to play ball with them as much as they have to play with him.
C) Make the whole damned thing part time and slash salaries and share staff - not a huge savings in a $2.5 billion budget - but personally I'd rather have horse patrols, emt's, more teachers etc.
That's it - not much to ask for, is it?
City of Boston's Bids & RFPs
Advertisement City of Boston
BOSTON CITY COUNCIL. Invitation for Sealed Bids for the Procurement of the Following Services and/or Supplies:
NOTE:For information specific to this particular bid, please contact Yuleidy Valdez, @ 617-635-3068 at .
5/10/10 - 6/1/10
A Highly Skilled Court Stenographer in Connection With Fulfilling the City Council's Need for Reporting, Preparing, and Indexing the Minutes of the Regular Sessions of the City Council Meetings Held on Wednesdays at noon (Time Subject to Change) As Well As Reporting and Transcribing Minutes from various City Council Committee Public Hearings, When Requested.
Said Preparation of Minutes Shall be Performed Within the Time Frame Required by Statute and are Public Documents Subject to Release Pursuant to Public Records Requests.
The City of Boston (the City)/the County of Suffolk (the County), acting by its City Council President Michael P. Ross (the Official), invites sealed bids for the performance of the work generally described above, and particularly set forth in the Invitation For Bids which may be obtained at Boston City Hall, One City Hall Plaza, Boston City Council 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02201 commencing at 10:00 AM Boston Time on Monday, May 10, 2010.
Invitation for Bids shall be available until the time of bid opening.
Every sealed bid shall be submitted in duplicate; on, and in accordance with, the Invitation for Bids.
All sealed bids shall be filed no later than Monday, May 31, 2010, at 12:00 NOON, Boston Time, at the office of the Official, One City Hall Plaza, Boston City Council, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02201.
The attention of all bidders is directed to the provisions of the Invitation For Bids and contract documents, and specifically to the requirements for bid deposits, insurance and performance bonds as may be applicable.
A bid deposit in the amount of $0 shall be required from each bidder.
A performance bond in the amount of $0 shall be required from the successful bidder.
The supplies/services above described for the 3-year term of this contract is an actual amount of the supplies/services to be procured.
All bidders are hereby notified that they shall provide a unit price for each supply service to be procured in this contract, subject to the following terms that will govern price adjustments: None applicable.
Bidders are further notified that they shall submit prices for and bid prices shall be compared on the basis of both the first fiscal year and the entire period of performance.
Bidders are hereby notified that the Official shall cancel the contract if funds are not appropriated in any fiscal year.
Sealed bids shall be publicly opened by the Official on Tuesday, June 1, 2010, at 1:00 PM.
The award of any contract shall be subject to the approval of the Mayor of Boston and the Boston City Council.
The maximum time for bid acceptance by the City after the opening of bids shall be ninety (90) days.
The City/County and the Official reserve the right to reject any and all bids or any items.
MICHAEL P. ROSS,