Phoenix City Council Meeting
Phoenix city council formal Meetings and Policy Sessions conducted in the City Council Chambers held every week, take official action on ordinances, resolutions, and any other items on the agenda. The meeting takes minimum amount of time, which allocated ensures overage of the necessary agendas, with important decisions reached and little discussion. However, Council Members receive the agenda a week before the scheduled meeting. This gives them the opportunity to go through every item and to ask questions of city staff members. If there is no additional information at the meeting, action taken without discussion becomes the alternative. The meeting then proceeds to the main agenda.
The city council meeting I attended sought to ordinate a historic preservation grant for the Works Progress Administration building at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. Following requests issued to the city manager to allocate funds for the rehabilitation of the historic building constructed in 1932 for use as the Arizona headquarters. The response has triggered lots of controversy on the fund authorization with debate from various authorities on the importance of the building.
The meeting begins with a move to identify all key council members present at the meeting and the mayor. After all the procedures, a vote cast on whether to ordinate grant funds for the request and authorization for the City Controller to disburse all funds related to the Works Progress Administration building at the Arizona State Fairgrounds rehabilitation. The city council members all place a unanimous vote to push the motion. The meeting is filled with applaud resulting from these developments. Council members vote for the rehabilitation of the building stating the benefits it will bring to the city. Moreover, they insist that the funds are readily available in the historic Preservation Capital Improvement Program Budget. Discussion arises with no conclusions.
The motion, presented to the mayor who then votes for the rehabilitation of the building. Members of the council all cheer in unison as the votes increase. The mayor granted a maximum of 3 minutes argues as to why he votes for the rehabilitation explaining that the building harbors the administration building and is the Arizona headquarters. With its location at the south en of the Arizona State Fairgrounds, the mayor explains that it is a strategic point source within the city therefore its rehabilitation would create a presentable city. This stirs great debate in the council chambers but order and control brought back.
As the voting process to complete the motion objectives closes, one council member from District 2, Jim Waring opposes the motion for rehabilitation. Order is lost and council members debate on whether to grant him his right to air his opinion and reasons to his opposition. Jim Waring explains his reason by stating that the cost of rehabilitating the building is too high and even with its budget inclusion in the historic Preservation Capital Improvement Program Budget it is wastage of funds. He argues that these funds put into proper use such as improving infrastructure for economic development. The motion does not pass.
This being my first city council meeting, I note that motions passed to the council do not undergo careful scrutiny to the benefit of those affected. To pas a motion, all, or majority of the stakeholders must be on either the opposing or proposing side. It ensures that there is fairness when dealing with important issues relating to the state. The Phoenix City Council Meeting was a fantastic learning experience.