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Saturday, December 5, 2020

Opinion: New city council is deliberate and cautious

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The voters spoke last month and the results were mixed but interesting. Whatever divided the council in the past year, the people spoke?{{more: continue …}}and seemed to be saying enough is a enough, now get on with it.?
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The voters rejected an ill-conceived recall of two of sitting council members, saying in effect they deserve to serve their full two year term. They refused to expand the control of one group over the other by electing two new council members with one of those swearing no allegiance to any group. And, they returned to office the sitting mayor, although narrowly.
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The new council is composed of members who all have one year or less experience, but they seem ready to do the required homework and the city staff better be prepared.
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Early impressions ??

  • This council will be deliberate and slow to act, if early meetings are any indication.
  • There will be lots of questions and staff will have to scramble to stay ahead.?
  • Split votes will be as common as unanimous consents.?
  • There will be a number of postponements on action items as this council will ask for additional information or will want more time to consider decisions.?
  • This council will also do their own research and will expect the staff to do theirs and be able to validate the information they present to council.
  • Finally, there have been no fireworks at council meetings, at least in the early going.? This group seems to be one that is focused on the agenda at hand.? In early going, they have been polite and respectful to fellow council members.? Expectations are that this will continue.
In other words, with practically all new members, this council will not be rushed into action and they will want to know all avenues have been explored before they make final decisions. There is nothing wrong with that approach.??
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2018-19 City Council

  • Mayor Brian Johnson, incumbent re-elected 2018 for 2 year term until May, 2020
  • Place 1: Rockie Gilley, first elected 2017 for 2 year term until May 2019
  • Place 2: Chris Pugh, first elected 2018 for 2 year term until May, 2020
  • Place 3: Sandra Lee, first elected 2017 for 2 year term until May, 2019, survived recall election 2018
  • Place 4: Linda Rhodes, first elected 2018 for a 2 year term until May 2020
  • Place 5: Jan Joplin, Mayor Pro-Tem, first elected 2017 for 2 year term until May 2020, survived recall election in 2018 and lost in bid for mayor in 2018.

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