Back when there was a popular quiz program on TV "The $64,000 Question". That was lots of money back then and many of us could put it to good use today.
Several columns back I wrote "Idle $120,000 k Could go to Consultant". That was the amount of money that I was told existed in the DAPS account. For more information on DAPS please read the column.
Then a Council Member, Chris Wizner wrote two long commentaries claiming that , no, the amount is really $91,000! So I tried to get a hold of the Mayor and ask her the amount but she did not respond to two calls.
I then e-mailed Interim City Manager Hulsey and ask him. He promptly sent back a note saying that the actual amount is $103,445. So I was incorrect but then I would think that a sitting City Council member would have had a better handle on this.
I responded to some more of his comments at the June 18 City Council meeting "Former councilman offers First Amendment". Its no use going over all of his comments, you can simply go to the above articles and if you think that they need a response I will do so. For right now, the DAPS is still the issue.
Mr. Hulsey pointed out the problems that they have with this and it mainly comes down to appointing several more members so that they can do business. It is true that to have voting members they must reside in the City limits but non residents can be non-voting members. The current two "members" should be removed at once since they never did anything for 10 years!
Once appointed the members must have some guidance. No one is going to get into trouble for doing so. If so, I and all members of the Council 11 years ago would have been in trouble. And that seems to be the problem here.
The Mayor and Council must make a concerted effort to get things going and work out a plan that they can offer the new members. I really don't understand what the hold up is. The City does not have the funds for economic development yet an existing Committee has $103,445 that could be put to good use.
I believe that having non-citizen business owners could act as a "kitchen cabinet" which is what several Presidents did over the years. These could be advisers to the Mayor and Council to help them with thorny problems. And, why not? The City cannot afford, even with the DAPS money to have qualified folks who can offer advice.
Elsewhere, "Ole Pete" brought up a question as to what would happen when the DAPS money runs out? I don't know perhaps the City can find some small amount from a grant or such or maybe the money situation will improve. But in the meantime, this is the only thing going.
Another matter. I called the Attorney General's Office this week to ask about the Mayor's assertion that she can have meetings with two members only without violating the intent of the Open Meetings Law. I was told no you can't.
Perhaps she should get a written opinion on this before going through with such actions. Besides, what is the use of such? Agenda meetings are there so that all members here matters at the same time and can offer their own opinions.
Thanks for reading,