Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
Thursday, September 13, 2007
  No Wonder W Stayed Inside the 13 Mile Wide Secure Airbase

"Abdul Sattar Abu Risha was the leader of an alliance of Sunni Arab tribes that rejected al-Qaeda because of its methods and worked with the US.

He was killed in a bomb attack near his home in Iraq's western Anbar province.

Abu Risha was among a group of tribal leaders who met President George W Bush during his visit to Iraq last week."

Abu Risha is the gentleman responsible for $100/Minute quote below.
W looks nervous as hell in this photo, maybe he knew what was coming?
Sooooooooo.....I am to infer from this new news that Anbar is still not a place you want to put on your vacation destination list? Just wondering? How much are we paying them to "be on our side"?
Greg- sorry if I highjack the thread--- but I read your comments posted on iBerkshires to Tammy Daniels article about the asphalt plant-----you are 100% dead smack wrong about subcommittee meetings---they are posted-- and often the Chair at the meeting at which the referral was made- will announce when the meeting will take place and then the Clerk will post it---There are no subcommittee meetings that do not have a quorem--it's against the law---true enough many sub meetings do not garner media coverage----but they are not illegal as you imply--- that City Council commkittees are violating the Open Meeting Law-------although I will add one-I think-humorous note-- I just got in the mail a posting of a Public Safety meeting on Monday the 17th regarding taxi issues-- I have no idea what the issues are and who called the meeting--I don;t recall it a specific referral on this----
anyway- the announcement said- Monday Sept 17, 2007 at 3:30 a.m.----that's right AM----I have since e-mailed the Clerk and Chair Ron Boucher and informed them if that is indeed the correct time- I ain;t gonna be there-----hopefully the Clerk will correct the posting if this was a copy of the bulletin board post-----but as to insinuation that subcommittees meet without a quorem and purposely do so-- that's crap-- of course I concede that a Committee could meet and there is no quorem when attendance is taken--but then- that's it--it's over- no discussion can or does take place--except maybe-- when shall we try to convene again-----which would be a very one-sided discussion - since a quorem is 2---and no quorem? leaves just one Councilor---and no discussion and no recommednations-no report to full Council because there was -in reality no meeting---sorry -you are way off base on that one----and I don;t think any of us wants to run the risk of a fine by the Ethic Commission---chbpod
Thanks for the education on the subcommittees. I will have to watch the clerk's board more carefully. The only notices I see tend to be commissions and full council meetings.

While it was not my intention to accuse the council of violating ethics rules, I still stand by my contention that many, if not most, controversial issues get channeled into committee meetings rather than discussed by the full council at the televised meeting. If the issue survives committee, it is seemingly already decided upon and is sent up for sure passage. (When was the last time there was a close vote, let alone a defeat of a measure by the full coumcil?)

And since Glenn tends to read this page, I wonder if he would be willing to gather and print the entire schedule of public meetings once a week? Heck, I might just swing by.
Actaull the standard meetings are posted on the Ciyt's website as far as I can tell-- subcommittee meetings are not-----you have to understand that with this particular Council-- we pretty much trust each other's judgment---and it is true that much of what comes back from subcommittee is rather routinely followed---not that we can;t ask questions- -we can--and often other members of the Council attend those subcommittee meetings and get the stuff they need---so if there is little debate back on the Council floor- some -maybe all of the issues have been hammered out in sub-committee---not always-- bt usually that's ben the way it works---nothing nefarious---just process--I dont think that the full council should defeat a measure just to prove something to you----chbpod
Even with all the "issues hammered out" in committee, I find it fascinating that the current council has had only one or two "nays" on any vote in recent memory.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but it seems highly unusual for any legislative body to act with such uniformity of purpose.

Hypothetically, would an issue like Windmills (or WiFi or Dogs or spitting on sidewalks, etc...) split the council, or would procedure simply kick it to council to die if their was not consensus?
The Council likes the way the City is being run--- occasionally a nay or two---procedure has noting to do with it-- EXCEPT when ut's outside of the Council's jurisdiction-- we are not the freaking Congress-- read the Charter----I suppose you could have a spirited debate on windmills and wi-fi--- we have had that on dogs already-----but when it comes to financing such things--we are at the mercy of the Mayor--actually your last question is stupid and shows that you know absolutely nothing about NA government--what a maroon-- chbpod
I wrote "or would procedure simply kick it to council ..."

My bad. That should have read: "...kick it to committee..."

I am well aware that you believe that the charter makes council a bunch of neutered puppies. We had this discussion before. Yawn.
The term was "Bobble Heads" And the Council isn't at the mercy of the mayor-----"but when it comes to financing such things--we are at the mercy of the Mayor" The council has the last say weather to fund or not fund something ergo...they hold all the power, not the mayor! The mayor is at their mercy. Although it is spun and advertised differently!
And as for "committees deciding" that is bull shit. Their job is to research and study the item then bring back the pros and cons to the full council where it should be debated in the open and in full view of the public. Americans do not take kindly to closed door smoke filled rooms with interference from other interest dictating the outcome. The committee is not the governing body, the full council is.
What I meant was in terms of the budget-and being at the mercy of the Mayor -is that we cannot shift funds around-- we cannot increase the budget for any department without the Mayor's OK-- we can cut- yes--but even then it's up to the Mayor in some respects---what we vote on is a line item for salaries and another for expenses- when it comes to each departmental budget---if for example---one might ask what the increase in expenses in a giving department is and the Mayor says it's for a new computer-- and if the counil cut that amount out of the budget-- the Mayor could still get the computer and simply not get some other item uncluded in the expenses---when the Mayor comes in with a balanced budget and tax wise we are within our Prop 2 1/2 limits----what is there to argue about---and the subcommittee meetings are not held behind closed doors--Open Meeting Law---
often the "committees" do "decide" in the sense that when they report and make their recommendations- most often the full Council will go along with it---also frequently- 2 or 3 other members of the Council attend the subcommittee meetings-- participate in the deliberations and are satisfied with the results---if that happens you have 5-6 votes locked up--and that includes the sub committee (3)--------most of us have had some longevity in working and trusting each other---the Council works well together----and there tends to be a trust in judgment----having a split and contentious Council--whether amonst ourselves or to the Mayor does not constitute "good government"---we had an antiMayor majority back in 1988 and 1989--- 5-4 votes most of the time---against the Mayor---and virtually the City came to a standstill in some areas---the following election 3 of the 5 didn;t run - one ran for Mayor (and lost) the other ran for re-elction and dropped from first plave(1987) to 12th or 13th---the electorate didn;t like that crap that was going on---chbpod
chbpod....I understand your position of trusting each other, and it is good that the council can work in a professional manner. My point is that anything done out of the view of the citizenry can have the perception of sneakery and dealerage. Ya, ya I know the meetings are open to anyone that wants to go and they can read the minutes, but not everyone has the physical ability to do that. Maybe publishing the minutes on the towns web site would be a good idea. After all isn't that what the web page is keep the people informed!
The minutes that are taken during a subcommittee meeting- are translated into the report that the committee gives to the full Council--it is true that no necessarily all of the exact discussion that went on at the meeeting makes it into the report---such as who said exactly what---BUT----the positions of the members is often repeated at the full council--- and that is onTV---live one week and repeated by tape the following000there's a lot more transparency than some people believe-- NOW--- administrative Boards and Commissions???? that's another story----chbpod
greg...Your post just gives credence to what people believe is the (new/old) surge, if you can't kill um, then buy them! And they will not shoot at us as long as the money keeps coming, but what happens when it stops?
One point of contention regarding other CC members attending a sub-committee meeting. If a sub-committee is 3 and two other CC members attend, that makes a quorum of the whole CC council which would then qualify as an un-warned CC meeting - would it not - which would be in violation of the open meeting law I believe?
The "others" are not voting members of the subcommittee-although they may participate- just as any citizen in attendance can do--and it does not constitute a meeting of the Full Council--it is a duly posted sub-committee meeting----for example if two committee members of the Public Safety Committee are also members of the General Government Committee that meeting would be posted as a Public Safety meeting and would not be construed as a General Government meeting---interesting thought---even if all members of the Council attended--and participated and their input leads to a decision of the sub-committee---it would not be in violation of the Open meeting law----since the meeting is open and only the committee members vite-- chbpod
Wow....That is a scarry thought! But isn't that what is happening now, to a certain extent?
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