From alleged threats by Mayor Brooke toward Alderman Ray Ambrose to this week's recent resolution amending the "Code of Conduct" for aldermen - which allows for sanctions, including formal censure, reprimand, loss of committee assignment, and recommendation for possible removal of a fellow alderman for inappropriate conduct, with a supermajority vote - the council continues to demonstrate little regard for a rational process for problem-solving and/or remedy.
The thorn that is Alderman Meyer is not so much his foolish literary references in the form of a Christmas carol but his relentless questions and requests for information during council meetings. The complaint is that Meyer bogs things down with his inquisitiveness, and that his demands for relevant documentation are unreasonable, even destructive, because they require time and resources to accommodate him.
Tough. His constituents for this very reason voted Alderman Meyer in. Meyer is no stranger to City Hall. He has always questioned the status quo, and voters are well aware of this penchant. He doesn't let things slide. Meyer is doing his job by demanding the pertinent information before he votes on city business. In fact, Meyer is doing precisely what every alderman should be doing. The fact that he is basically alone in his quests for data, and that for his efforts, a resolution is being drafted to remove him, or at least censor him, sends a clear message to the public that this council is not interested in the facts, nor in sharing them.
Otherwise, the answer to dealing with Alderman Meyer would be simply to accommodate him. More often than not, his requests are reasonable, relevant to the item being discussed, and need-to-know for a vote to occur. If the answer is known to any of the parties involved, then address them to satisfy Alderman Meyer at the time he questions a matter.
Instead, huge energy is spent in finding ways to stymie Meyer. This last action establishing a resolution that allows the council to possibly remove one of its own is transparent and shameful, especially considering the far more egregious conduct by aldermen in the not-so-distant-past. Where were the outrage and sanctimonious attitudes then?
If voters want to know whether Alderman Meyer is a positive or negative influence, then consider his requests. Investigate for yourselves whether his questions are meaningful or frivolous. The process itself demands that our elected officials be informed and resolute in voting on matters for which they represent the public. At a minimum, err on the side of too much information versus too little.
And yes, it might take a little more time each meeting to actually have a comprehensive discussion on an agenda item, but that's what we are paying the big bucks for.