Insomnia Log

This is what keeps me awake at night???

Who needs sleep? (well you’re never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep? (tell me what’s that for)
Who needs sleep? (be happy with what you’re getting,
There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war)

-- words and music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Everything you need to know about me can be found in my posts

Friday, October 12, 2007

More Pay for More Crimes Equals Less Turnover: City of Boulder Ballot Questions 2B, 2C, and 2D

The Boulder City Council has been thinking about itself more than usual lately. Three out of four of the city measures on the upcoming ballot ask us to improve the way the city council works.

Question 2B gives council members a big raise. They could earn up to a big $1,000 per month for what amounts to about a half-time job. Plus, they'd get cost of living increases in the future. This is almost a 200% increase for someone that attends the usual two council meetings per month. Although the relative amount of the increase is large, the total compensation still doesn't make it a lucrative position.

It is interesting that, although the per meeting pay would almost triple, the pay would cap at two meetings per month, as opposed to the current four. This would provide some incentive to not schedule special meetings (which they occasionally do today.) That's probably not a big issue, but it does make me think twice.

Question 2C would change the city charter's clause that currently states council members can be removed when they are convicted of a crime or felony, to state that they will be removed upon conviction for a felony. Yes, it would clarify some ambiguous language in the charter, as nobody today knows exactly what's included in the phrase "crime or felony". However, it leaves a pretty big hole in that council members can no longer be removed after conviction for a serious misdemeanor. For example, if a council member is convicted of misdemeanor assault against another council member, he or she would still be allowed to serve out the term, with nothing short of a recall available to force him or her out. I say the council should go back to the drawing board on this one.

Question 2D would eliminate special elections to fill vacant council seats when there are only one or two vacancies. That's a good cost-saving goal. But the special elections are the result of a citizen initiative, and the council should not toss them out quite so radically. In this case, it would take three vacancies to trigger a special election. Under the proposed change we might have to go up to 16 months with a council short by one or two members. Again, the council is going too far to solve this problem.

Vote FOR Question 2B.
Vote AGAINST Question 2C.
Vote AGAINST Question 2D.

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