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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

COMMUNITY COUNCIL TEST RUN

The public is a witness and participant in all kinds of meetings in the borough almost daily. We have reports coming in from different corners by folks to say "Hey this is what I attended and here is what happened". 


Following is field report from last week's South Knik River Community Council Meeting. Thanks in advance to the submission by this cleaver CL correspondent!







REPORTER DOWN


 Did she trip over her own feet, or was it friendly or enemy fire? Surely not fatal but injury extent still uncertain; how would you have fared?:
  • What could be more clear after 3 April assembly 5 – 2 vote to uphold community council code requiring resident-only voting?
  • S. Knik River Community Council 12 April meeting opened with president statement that to be a member you have to be a resident, and ‘everybody here I know is a resident. If you’re not a resident, please don’t vote.’
  • No identification was checked, no residence addresses were checked; otherwise no distinction was made between residents and nonresidents before, during, or after votes;
  • March meeting minutes to approve included these parliamentary and other highlights,
    • motion (to overturn a prior year motion that passed with more appropriate public process) introduced by commonly acknowledged nonresident vouched-by-president resident passed by virtue of 8 absentee ballots submitted with motion, while secretary request to delay vote for greater community information and participation was ignored (vote was 8 against, 15 for; it would have failed by 1 but for the ‘absentee’ ballots);
    • the secretary is still investigating questionable compliance of ‘absentee’ votes with absentee voting restrictions in the unsigned draft bylaws under which the council compliantly functions regardless of their validity -- these are the unsigned draft bylaws amendments that include property owners as council members, in defiance of borough code, that the borough filed (counter to their code), which the council president takes as meaning these amendments are accepted by the borough;
    • the secretary’s report on her good faith attempt to execute the president’s task of sending her to solicit advice from the borough attorney, when the whole council has been advised of borough policy in communications from the attorney through the last assembly representative, in a letter from the borough clerk, and in a direct letter from the current assembly representative (even with bureaucratic waffling, they all laid a consistent maple syrup grid);
    • not to belabor the point, you get the picture;
  • Unfinished business included
    • resistance demonstrated against applying for revenue sharing funds;
    • resistance demonstrated to completing the bylaws revision we got halfway through two years ago (including residents only voting);
    • a vote to confirm the June ‘11 review of the comprehensive plan, in the absence of any minutes from that meeting or ability to reconstruct attendance or content from anything other than a smattering of recalled memories . . . and those aren’t the only minutes that appear to be missing . . .
  • The president, who retains sole key to council mailbox, introduced the CIP application whose submission deadline happens to be prior to our next scheduled council meeting, convenient to delay information to and from the community at large (the efficient borough clerk has been requested for the mailing date);
  • The president insisted on using the 2008 unsigned noncompliant bylaws for reference

Sorry, the pain isn’t allowing this reporter to continue . . . she needs to retire to her pallet if she hopes to report another day . . . so how’s that for democracy and public process in this little corner of the borough? 

And oh what’s to be done?

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