Watching the last council meeting I couldn’t help but be surprised that councilman Apigian still seems to be so lost. When the vote came up to vote on the first reading of an ordinance the councilman had no clue what the vote was for. He was clearly lost even after council chair explained the procedure to him he carried on. Not the first time for this councilman is “lost in the woods.” If you’ve watched for the past year there’s been many examples of this. Frustration was evident on many council faces and not for the first time can’t say as I blame them after a year sitting at council. Elected and now re-elected, one would think that councilman Apigian would have learned some basic council procedures by now.
That brings me to this, how long should a council member get to show they have a basic understanding of the workings of city council? I think councilman Apigian has had more than enough time to know much more than the basic workings of the council. That’s if he was at all interested in doing anything besides showing up to meetings. Looking at the charter to see if there is any type of rule compelling a member of council to have a basic understanding of the procedures of council. The charter is very limited in discussing what’s expected of council members.
The Council shall determine its own rules and order of business and shall keep a written or printed journal of all its proceedings in the English language which shall be signed by the Chairman of the Council and the City Clerk. The vote upon the passage of all ordinances, and upon the adoption of all resolutions shall be taken by “YES” and “NO” votes and entered upon the record except that where the vote is unanimous, it shall only be necessary to so state. An affirmative vote of the majority of the quorum of the Council is necessary to validate any resolution. Each member of the Council, who shall be recorded as present, shall vote on all questions decided by the Council unless excused by the unanimous consent of the members present, but no Councilman shall vote on any question in which he has any financial interest other than the common public interest.
State law reference— Mandatory that Charter provide for keeping of a journal, MCL 117.3(m),; conflicts of interest as to contracts, MCL 15.321 et seq.; standards of conduct and ethics, MCL 15.341 et seq.; freedom of information act, MCL 15.231 et seq.
The Council may by vote of not less than two of its members, compel the attendance of its members at its regular meetings and enforce orderly conduct therein; and any member of the Council who refuses to attend such meetings and conduct himself in any orderly manner thereat shall be deemed guilty of misconduct in office. The Council may require the attendance of the Mayor and that of any elective or appointive officer of the City for the purpose of securing from them any information upon the affairs of the City within their jurisdiction.
Interesting to note the first line says, “The Council shall determine its own rules and order of business.” Maybe it’s time they did so. I know he’s elected by the majority of the voters, but of the majority who did vote for him how many even watch what he does on council? Has he even in the year that has passed sat down with our vendors? The companies that the city pays hundreds of thousands of dollars to for analysis and advice. He can sit down with them free of charge to understand what each company does for the city. I know newly elected councilwoman Hicks-Clayton has it’s apparent from the very first meeting that she knows what she’s doing. It’s apparent that she’s taken the time to familiarize herself with how the council and the city work. Like councilwoman Horvath said not to long ago to councilman Apigian “You do have to work at it you know.” Yes I would like to see you work at it sick and tired meeting after meeting seeing the same thing from you. There has been that little spark of an idea once or twice ideas that were well thought out. Then the spark dies and we are left with a cinder for every step forward councilman Apigian you end up taking 10 steps back.
While it’s true council members are not paid that much, than again most did not become council members for the salary. They run for the office to serve the city and it’s residents they put the time and effort into each meeting. At the very least they understand what’s on the *agenda for the meeting very apparent at the last council meeting councilman Apigian did not even do that. If he had he would have known that they were voting on the first reading of the ordinance. Sorry to say after watching council meetings for over 2 years I can say councilman Apigian is the worst I’ve seen. I think the voters, the ones who took the time to go and vote deserve better than this from him.
*Agenda packets delivered to each council member the Friday before the council meetings.