When the City Clerk resigned before he rescinded that resignation the council had to act upon his resignation. They did act by way of a vote to Receive, Note, and File the Clerks resignation. Council Chair asked corporation counsel to look into how to handle the Clerks rescind. Corporation Counsel came back and told the council he made a mistake and Receive, Note, and File isn’t an action. Corporation counsel didn’t have time to look into the subject of the clerks resignation. The clerks resignation was given to corporation counsel the night of the meeting he however, did have time to look into the opinion he was asked to give on the subject of the clerks rescind.
Here’s where I’m confused if Receive, Note and File isn’t an action taken by the council then how does council use this action. On many occasions over the years watching and attending meetings of Dearborn Heights City Council I’ve seen this vote taken. Then does that mean that every time they have received, note, and filed something they’ve been doing it wrong? They haven’t acted according to the opinion of corporation counsel by not acting according to what I understand from corporation counsel the vote they took was no action. Every time they vote to receive, note and file any thing that comes before them they vote on that action. A VOTE IS TAKEN each member of the council say yes or no to take the action of receive, note and file.
Now however, corporation counsel is saying no you can’t do that you have to ‘act.’ Is Council going to act on everything that comes before them? Are they going to take a vote other than receive, note and file. Take for instance when the 130 signatures brought to the clerk’s office to be added to the agenda a few weeks ago. The signatures were not added before the meeting. Councilwoman Hicks-Clayton brought it up for a vote at the council table the first action that councilman Berry said was let’s “receive, note and file.” This within a month of corporation counsel telling the council that they can’t receive note and file because it’s not an action. Councilwoman Hicks-Clayton said “no I don’t want to just receive, note and file I want to discuss this.”
So when is it all right to use receive, note and file? When is this action and action and when isn’t it? Does the council get to pick when it’s and action and when it’s not? Can we as residents now stand and say no we don’t want you to receive note and file that, we want you to vote on it? Can we force a discussion and vote yes or no on any issue we find important to us because according to corporation counsel receive, note and file isn’t an action and council must take an action? Was the opinion from corporation counsel just one of convenience? Was it written in a way to make sure that the Clerk could come back with-out so much as a vote to take him back by the council. If I’m understanding this right they don’t have to vote to accept his rescind because council according to the ‘opinion’ didn’t act upon the resignation. So the resignation was null and void it never happened if we want to go by that standard then every time the council has voted to receive, note, and file something they did nothing. Does that mean that we can bring back what they in the past have received, note, and filed up for a vote.
If this is the new way things are going to be if you want to go by what corporation counsel has said then new rules must be adopted by the council. They no longer can receive, note, and file they must discuss and vote. When are we going to see this new standard put in action. When the Mayor gives them something they receive, note, and file it. Now they would have to vote (take action) on what ever he is bringing to them. This is all double talk by corporation counsel and Dearborn Heights City Council. With this now going before a judge is corporation counsel going to go before the judge and tell him that the council didn’t act when they voted to receive, note and file the clerks resignation. If the judges rules in favor of corporation counsel does this set the standard. Everything the city council has voted on for years by receive, note and file will be ruled null and void no action was taken.
If the judge rules that the council did act when they received, note and filed the resignation of the clerk will he then have to leave? Does the council then have to vote on taking him back? Would they have to vote on the rescind of the clerk? What ever the out come in court I still think the opinion by corporation counsel is what the City should act on from now on. No more receive, note and filling of anything. You can’t have it both ways it’s either and action or it isn’t.