Mayor Lee Lansing and Ward 2 Councilor Scott Davis tangled at last week’s City Council meeting. (Photos are actually from the previous council mtg.) Nfld News reporter Suzy Rook’s article: Council butts heads about nomination process:
What should have been a routine approval of city board and commission nominees got heated Monday as Councilor Scott Davis demanded answers from a mayor who tried to cut off the discussion. Ultimately, appointments to four city boards and commissions were delayed. Try as he might, Davis couldn’t get Mayor Lee Lansing to acknowledge that he had provided a rationale for each appointment.
After being repeatedly pressed by the councilor, Lansing tried to halt the discussion, but Davis pushed for more debate. “We’re moving on,” retorted Lansing. “I’m the chair.”
It’s not clear from the article where the other councilors stood on this issue. And was there a motion to cut off debate which was voted on? The agenda item was part of the regular council agenda, not the work session so weren’t Robert’s Rules of Order available for Scott to use to prevent Lee from stopping debate?
Adding to the intrigue is Victor Summa’s appointment to both the EDA and the Charter Commission. Victor’s been a vocal supporter of Lee in many battles between the mayor and the council the past year. In the Jan. 29 Nfld News article: Davis asks for reform on appointment to city boards:
Davis said the last appointment Lansing made came as a surprise to the council. The appointee’s name, Victor Summa, was given to the council only after its meeting began and before the board he was to serve on – the Economic Development Authority – had a chance to consider potential candidates.
Summa (along with William Beck, Betsey Buckheit) was also appointed to the Charter Commission by Rice County Judge Bill Johnson. I don’t understand how these names got to the judge, whether the mayor or the council were involved, whether the Charter Commission made recomendations. In the Dec. 17 Charter Commission minutes, Chair Alex Beeby is referenced:
Beeby stated that there are at least two openings on the Charter Commission. If the mayor does not make appointments within 30 days, the judge can appoint replacements. He noted that applications can go directly to the judge. He noted that he will serve on the commission until he is replaced.
- Feb. 1 Nfld News editorial: Vetting process for boards is necessary.
- Feb. 11 Nfld News article: Board appointments announced.
Related background on the allocation of money to each board/commission: