Friday, February 11, 2011
The Sunnyside City Council's next meeting is on Monday, Valentine's Day, and from the sound of it there's no love lost at city hall.
The source of the fracas this time seems to be over adding new police staffing to help in the fight against criminal gangs. Everyone seems to agree it's needed, it's just a matter of when and how to fund it.
It's good that everyone on council agrees on adding police staffing. Now we just need everyone on council to get along so it can be approved.
What will help is if the upstaging and barbs - from all sides - comes to a halt.
The best way for that to happen is for Sunnyside Mayor Jim Restucci to get a better handle on running the meetings.
Yes, Sunnyside for better or - more often - for worse is standing by its city manager form of rule.
But the mayor still has authority to run the council meetings. It's his job to keep the meeting flowing and moving forward while providing room for discussion.
Allowing for discussion and disagreement doesn't mean, though, permitting sarcasm and grandstanding like we had at the study session this past Monday.
Once council members say their piece it's time to move the agenda forward to the next item or ask for a motion to adjourn.
That means not allowing one person to hijack the meeting and demand their way.
It means the mayor has to be the bad guy sometimes and make life "uncomfortable" for his fellow council members.
There may be no love lost between Sunnyside City Council members. But with a firm hand there can at least be some love found for Robert's Rules of Order.