Wednesday, May 27, 2009

No Potted Plant Here

As the new Commissioner on the dais, I am always amazed at the way the formal meetings are run. As a former Boise City Councilmember for 16 years, we had a way of doing things that is not replicated by ACHD.

For instance, I am used to having discussion of the motion after the motion is made. This is an opportunity to say why you're voting the way you are particularly if you're not going along with the motion. It's a way of showing the sausage being made so to speak.

ACHD doesn't do that. The motion is made, it's seconded and then boom you vote. Tonight I upset that apple cart. We had a number of items on the agenda which I thought were important enough to discuss. I thought one in particular should have been deferred since it was a plan for the SW of Boise and integrated land use and transportation. There were enough issues that a delay of one month wouldn't have made a difference but it would have allowed total support by Boise.

So I asked that I be given time to discuss the item and my no vote. During my explanation another Commissioner tried to interupt and call for the question. I couldn't believe that happened but it did. After the vote I asked that that never happen again, that everyone be allowed the courtesy of finishing their remarks.

I think this is where the ACHD commission gets the reputation of being the captive of the staff. I don't know why the commission doesn't ever really discuss anything at the dais. We do discuss things in the pre commission meeting but those remarks aren't taped. If all we are seen to do in the public on the record meeting is seemingly rubber stamp what staff has presented, that does a great disservice to the public who should be allowed a window into why a commissioner votes the way they do.

This commissioner basically tried to tell me to sit there and shut up. You'd think they would know by now that's never going to happen.

PS. After a while, others discussed their vote as well. I found that interesting.


At May 28, 2009 at 5:21 PM , Blogger James said...

Watch out Sara! You keep this up and you will be dismissed from the "good old boy club"! like a certain Boise city councilperson I know!!

At May 28, 2009 at 7:18 PM , Blogger Sara said...

Well, it would really have to be a "good old girl club" and James, my dear, that ship has already sailed, actually it sailed from before I was sworn in.


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