Please attend the New Castle County Council Executive Meeting Tomorrow (Tuesday 3/8) at 4:30pm
You may have heard that some Democrats on County Council have resorted to skipping meetings to avoid voting on good government measures proposed by our newly elected Council President, Tom Kovach. We have seen this tactic used by Democrats in the Wisconsin state senate and apparently it has come to Delaware.
The “Wisconsin 6” – Councilmen Bill Bell, Penrose Hollins, Joe Reda, Tim Sheldon, George Smiley and Jea Street – were all absent with no excuse from the Marsh 1st executive committee meeting. They claim this was not coordinated, but Councilman Hollins reportedly admitted to WDEL talk show host Rick Jensen that the absences were in fact coordinated.
The News Journal reported about this incident on March 2nd (full story). Here are some excerpts:
Councilman Bob Weiner said citizens should be “furious.”
“Tom Kovach is being punished for committing the crimes of winning a special election, then placing an item on the agenda to talk about the poor way we passed the Governor’s Square deed restrictions into law,” Weiner said.
The absences seem to be a continuation of a move to undercut Kovach’s power. Kovach, one of three Republicans on council, won a special election against Tim Sheldon in January.
“It’s disappointing,” Kovach said. “But if what I’m doing is interrupting the status quo, well, that’s exactly what I was elected to do.”
Kovach didn’t take long in irritating some council members. Last month, he refused to sign deed restrictions into law for the controversial Governor’s Square III Shopping Center in Bear after several council members said they unknowingly voted to pass them Feb. 8 because the agenda title was too vague.
Since then, the council voted to have the council pro tem sign any measure into law that the president refuses to sign, a move thought to have been done to limit Kovach’s powers. All six members who were absent Thursday voted for that change.
WHAT CAN YOU DO? – Come to the meeting tomorrow (Tuesday March 8th) at 4:30pm and send a message to the Wisconsin 6
The next executive committee meeting is scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday March 8th) at 4:30pm – please come and show your support for good government. There are three items on the agenda that concern how county council can change its rules.
- Councilwoman Diller (one of the good government Democrats) has proposed a 7 day public notice for any council rule changes. There was a FOIA complaint filed against NCCo on March 2nd in regards to the lack of public notice of the sneaky February rules change to limit the Council President’s power.
- Councilman Smiley (of the Wisconsin 6) has proposed allowing council rule changes at any committee meeting (instead of just executive committee meetings). This will make it harder for the public to follow and comment on any efforts to change the way county council works.
- Councilman Tackett (another good government Democrat) has proposed another rule change that will ensure clarity in titles of companion legislation. This will make it harder to sneak legislation into the agenda like was done with the Governor’s Square deed restrictions.
The meeting is open to the public and public comment is welcome (if you wish to comment, you will have 3 minutes to speak). Committee meetings are held in the Council Conference Room which is on the 8th Floor of the City/County Building (800 N. French Street, Wilmington, DE 19801).