New council should brush up on rules
Congratulations to the newly elected Town Council. I want to address a comment made by candidate – now town councilor – Mary Meagher. In her statement printed in the Jamestown Press on Sept. 8, she stated, “Council matters: Adopt a code of behavior for the Town Council meetings.”
The newly elected Town Council should be aware that there is already a code of behavior in place for the council. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. During the past three years there have been numerous occasions where the rules and procedures were violated and no one on the council chose to put an end to the tirades.
The voters spoke loud and clear at the primary, stating, by their votes, they will not allow such tirades to continue and that civility must be maintained. Jamestown’s ordinance on civil conduct and lawful rights was also violated on numerous occasions. The councilors need to hold one another accountable. Should a member of the council step out of line, other members should be willing to step up and put a stop to the violations. Even if the person is the president, he or she should be held to the same high standards as the rest of the board.
I would like to suggest that the town clerk make the town’s ordinances, rules and procedures readily available to the councilors so they can review them between the election and taking oath. It now takes some digging on the town website, but they are there. Perhaps the rules and procedures should be easier to access. The ordinances are many and need to be available to the councilors as well. However, the rules and procedures should be included as obligatory reading.
In closing, I viewed the final meeting of the 2009-12 Town Council and listened as Town Administrator Bruce Keiser spoke for almost seven minutes praising the four Democrats. At no time did he acknowledge Town Councilor Ellen Winsor. He made it a point to mention that he was speaking specifi cally to the “outgoing council majority.”
Winsor was also a member of the council and will be forever linked to the 2009-12 panel. She was, in my opinion, one of the hardest workers on the council, making sure she did her homework and researched the facts. She was invited to speak at the Pentagon to discuss job creation, co-founded the LNG working group before being elected to the Town Council (which led to collaboration with Rhode Island and Massachusetts municipalities dur- ing her tenure), sought bipartisan solutions with results, attended the League of Cities and Towns annual meeting toward collaboration on job creation, supported local industries, promoted fiscal restraint, and supported educational excellence. For the town administrator to speak to the outgoing Town Council and deliberately ignore one of its members shows favoritism and is behavior that should not be tolerated.