Every organization has a hierarchy, whether it is official or not.
Judging from the scheduling of City Council work sessions, it seems that Councilmember Michelle Kennedy is at the top of the City Council heap.
Councilmember Justin Outling frequently requests work sessions on topics, and although Mayor Nancy Vaughan agrees to schedule them, for some reason they don’t get on the calendar.
Outling tried a different tack at the June 2 City Council meeting and made a motion that the council hold a work session within two weeks on police policy on stopping people based on a description. The motion passed unanimously, but June 16 came and went with no work session. However, the work session was held on June 18.
At that work session Kennedy tried to bring up matters she wanted to discuss about police and Outling very nicely said: Get your own work session.
And that work session for Kennedy’s concerns was held five days later on Tuesday, June 23. An occurrence that did not go unnoticed by her fellow councilmembers.
At the work session held to discuss Kennedy’s issues with the Police Department, Councilmember Tammi Thurm noted that she had been trying to get a work session scheduled and information on requiring a written form for a consent search by police for months.
A consent search often involves a vehicle that a police officer has stopped for a traffic violation and then asks for the driver’s consent to search the car. The driver can refuse, but many drivers don’t realize they have that right and consent to have their vehicle searched. Some jurisdictions use a written form to make certain that the driver is told they can refuse and consents to the search anyway.
Thurm has been talking about this for at least six months and so far has not gotten her own work session on the topic she believes is important for the City Council to discuss.
Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter has also requested work sessions that have not been held.
It is possible that after holding two work sessions in less than a week, the City Council will begin following the policy of previous city councils and holding regular work sessions where topics of interest to councilmembers are discussed in detail.