As I write, it is beginning to rain after a beautiful February full moon Saturday. I know it is virtually illegal to cuss rain in West Texas, but working construction, I'm on the verge of it. I suspect the folk tearing down the Carnival tonight would share my opinion, just cold enough to be miserable work in the wet. BTW, did I read it wrong or did a Grand Champion goat get a better bid than "Rock Star" the Grand Champion Steer? I know which I'd rather have in my freezer.
I have not seen much of the Olympics, but I took time to watch the hockey finals. Worth it on several levels. The IOC couldn't have scripted a better match-up, underdog USA v Canada, ratings must have been through the roof. Great game, surpisingly few penalty minutes, overtime game, Canada won, and good sportsmanship post-game by both teams. Perhaps next Winter Olympics the IOC will choose a location where they don't have to truck in snow.
I won't trouble City Council this Tuesday, I will be busy at the primary elections, been in the election-judging business for a long time. I do read Council Agenda. Conspicuous in its absence is an agenda item Accepting the Smoke-Free San Angelo petition. I was at last meeting, Council and City staff were assuming this pro-forma bit of business would be done March 2. I have to assume the item was pulled at request of the initiating committee, I also have to wonder why.
Two Agenda items that are there: #19 would give Council members access to the City's insurance plan as a Charter Amendment, subject to voter approval. There is a rather tangled history here. I was on Charter Review Committee a bit over two years ago, Prop 5 would have modestly increased Council pay, but it failed, by a small margin. Only then did it occur to City Legal staff that an obscure provision of state statute made it illegal for us to give Council members the same health insurance all other employees get, something they had received since the memory of man runneth not. I hope we can correct that error, if it takes another Charter Election, so be it. The vote will be on a regular election date, not much extra expense to City.
Since there is a two year period between Charter elections, if we are to have one, let's cover any other Charter items while we are at it. One that comes to mind would be amending Sec 47 on Initiative and Referendum to comply with case law we recently had pointed out to us so as to avoid future confusion.
I also look forward to #18, Work Session Criteria for Council and Boards. San Angelo has over 20 Boards and commissions, a good thing. These bodies range from Animal Services to Zoning, and give the average citizen a means to be heard. Over time they have grown without much oversight. All of these are volunteer appointees, and they are to be commended for their service. Still, City ought to look in on what they are doing every couple of years, just to stay in touch.
Some Boards are doing a great job, some are not doing much at all. Most of them could improve their accessibility by brushing up the website provided by the City. A list of who is on a board would be a good start, a clear statement of long-term goals wouldn't hurt. Most of these boards could benefit by regularly looking back and re-focusing on the original mission of the Board and how well they are doing in that mission.
No one wants to make it hard on Board volunteers. A once every two year joint session with Council would help both bodies understand one another, and what is expected and what has been done. There are a lot of details to be worked out, but that is what agenda item 18 hopes to start doing.
Remember to vote Tuesday, if you're really interested, don't forget the precinct convention at 7:15 after the polls close. If you don't vote, a five dollar fine for whining about the results. Voting, win or lose is your license to bitch about it.