Saturday, October 26, 2013

Is Rolla council taking away your rights? I don't think so

Rolla Mayor Bill Jenks III has proposed that the office of city attorney, also called city prosecutor to differentiate that office from the city counselor, the legal consultant, be appointive rather than elective.

On one hand, the argument goes, that takes another right away from the people and puts more power in the hands of the mayor and council. That’s the argument of Councilmen Brian Woolley and Jonathon Hines. On the other hand, the office of city attorney is part of the executive branch and that official is part of law enforcement, so it isn’t an upsetting of the balance of power.

Not enough Rolla residents care to vote in municipal elections to make this an issue, in my opinion. The council declined to take any action—not even hearing the first reading of an ordinance they had in front of them, at Monday night’s meeting—so they could collect comments from Rolla residents.

Everyone with any interest in this non-issue should contact their council member. If the council hears from a dozen people, I’ll be surprised, given the fact that there wasn’t even a 10 percent turnout in the municipal election of April 2012, the last time we elected a city attorney.You going to call your councilman? Then I hope you voted in April 2012, and I hope you will vote in April 2014.