I used my digital voice recorder to capture the audio while watching last night’s NTV’s showing of the Wed. night special city council meeting (agenda PDF photo is from earlier this year).
(The audio throughout the meeting was crappy so don’t blame me and my home electronics. Remind me to blog separately about why, after spending tens of thousands of dollars on council chambers technology, we can’t get good audio. AAARRRGGGHHH!)
Click play to listen. 1 hour 36 minutes. Or download the MP3.
LWV Observer Jane McWilliams has blogged her report of the meeting, so be sure to read that before commenting here.
Regarding the logistics of the meeting, Jane noted:
Two resolutions were distributed at the meeting (and not prior to that time, as far as the League observer was able to determine), as well as an unsigned memo attached to the curriculum vitae of Richard F. Fursman. The observer commented during the public comments that it was unfortunate for both the public and the members of the council that the materials hadn’t been made available prior to the meeting. It made consideration of the very difficult issues more difficult.
Listen to Jane’s comments at the 8 min 20 sec mark. I agree with her. The City had 3 full days to get the resolutions on the meeting’s web page. And they’re still not there. Roger Knutson, the special counsel at the meeting, didn’t even bring a copy of Roder’s employment contract to the meeting. Shouldn’t he have been prepared?
After the Council accepted his resignation, City Administrator Al Roder read a statement (13 min 30 sec mark) blasting Mayor Lee Lansing for his treatment of Roder during his tenure. He then asked that the Council pay him 6 months severance along with $6,200 of attorney fees beyond the $7,500 that they agreed to pay. Jane wrote:
Before the council began their discussion, Roder spoke frankly about the conflicts he had had with Mayor Lansing, who, Roder said, asked him to resign in March 2007. On the basis of that request, Roder said he is due severance pay at his departure. He asserted he had been subject to abusive treatment by Lansing. He said his desire is to move on with his career. He said his ability to negotiate salary advancement in a new position has been eroded by allegations, and that he is making a lateral move at a financial cost to himself and his family.
After council discussion, the public was allowed to comment (listen at the 42 min. mark). Charter Commission members Bill Beck and Victor Summa (speaking as citizens) both blasted the Council (among other things) for their willingness to even consider paying Roder severance. Beck threatened to file a lawsuit. Councilor Davis tangled with Beck, arguing that severance was not on the agenda.
During the final public comment period:
- Don McGee spoke at the 1 hr 12 min mark
- Former councilor Dixon Bond spoke at the 1 hr 14 min mark
- Jane McWilliams spoke at the 1 hr 16 min mark
- Victor Summa spoke at the 1 hr 18 min mark
- Kiffi Summa spoke at the 1 hr 20 min mark
During the final wrap-up comments:
- Councilor Davis took issue with McGee’s criticism that the Council needed a good job description for City Admin, blasting Lansing indirectly. He also took issue with Jane McWilliams (and others) about how the meeting was scheduled (1 hr 24 min mark).
- Councilor Denison defended the rationale for calling the meeting and how it was handled (1 hr 28 min mark) and blasted Kiffi Summa for her ongoing criticisms of him.
- Councilor Pokorney commented that he’d love to write a book about the whole experience (1 hr 31 min mark).