|Posted on April 12, 2017 at 7:55 PM|
Happy Spring Everyone! I thought I'd give you all a quick update since I am enjoying a smooth recovery from a few recent surgeries. Here are the most recent happenings on the Southport City Council:
During February's City Council Meeting, Resolution 2017-7 was introduced. To summarize, this resolution proposed that the Mayor's Office be allowed to spend $5,000 per purchase without the approval of the City Council; that the Police Chief would be allowed to spend up to $7,500 per purchase without the approval of the City Council or the Board of Public Works and Safety and that the Board of Public Works and Safety would be allowed to spend up to $30,000 without the approval of the City Council and to place for bid contract amounts up to $500,000 without the approval of the City Council.
Myself and several other Councilors were dissatisfied with this Resolution, as we felt that it seriously undermined the authority of the Council and violated the protection that is established within the checks and balances in our small government. The Councilors are accountable to the citizens who represent their interests, and the interests of the city. This Resolution takes the citizens out of government and allows the government to do what it wants with very little protection or acountability; especially since there are no limits on how many times these types of purchases can be made in a month and can cause serious budgetary issues if not properly managed or if poorly coordinated. The Council exists for these reasons. We are here to do the very best we can for the city. In Feb., this Resolution was voted down, 3 to 2, with the Southside Times quoting councilor Haley's comments on the Resolution in their article as being unfit for the city.
In an unsetting turn of events in the March Council Meeting, the same Resolution was presented with exactly one sentence added in parenthesis (regarding city spending for contracts with the board of public works for amounts over $100,000) and was voted in through a 3 to 2 vote in which Councilor Haley changed his vote.
The original reason we did not pass the Resolution was not becasue we want to micromanage the Boards. Southport has limited funds that we have already spent or designated for certain things; we cannot afford mishaps. This is why we have checks and balances. We are accountable to the people and responsible for the spending whether we have good internal control methods or not, and at the moment, we have internal control now set up as if we were a much larger city when it comes to our spending habits. This is a slippery slope and a dangerous one. But the real question is this: Why do we have a Mayor's office, a Police Department and a Board of Public Works and Safety that want to spend without wanting the input of the citizens of Southport through their elected city council?