Thursday, June 11, 2015

Is Zack Matheny's Replacement Rigged?

On Tuesday night Councilman Zack Matheny will resign after getting the chance to nominate and vote on his own replacement. This is interesting because the last time Council nominated and replaced a council member the process took over a month after Trudy Wade left office.

A recent conversation of Facebook echos concerns:

  • Simonne Ritchy McClinton The real question is where is the transparency? The public has the right to be a part of this process and for council to go about it this way with a 3 day window and a decision all but made without due diligence makes this council harder and harder to defend.
    Like · Reply · 2 · 2 hrs
  • Eric Ginsburg Just trying to be your transparency smile emoticon But yeah, it should be wide open. I remember reading people's resumes on the city website last time this happened, though I don't remember how quickly they went up.
  • Simonne Ritchy McClinton I know you are. I just am so disappointed with this council. Seemed so promising. But really it feels like, Let them eat cake!
  • Eric Ginsburg Well since it looks like Trudy's plan will pass, things might get very interesting for this council...
  • James Lamar Gibson Justin Outling!? We were just exchanging emails yesterday
    Like · 1 · 1 hr
  • Simonne Ritchy McClinton I don't know Justin. Is this a good thing? I mean, if Lamar exchanges emails with him...
    Like · 2 · 1 hr
  • Billy Jones Well I do know that it took well over a month to put Tony Wilkins on Council. And is it true that none other than those nominated by Council Members may speak to the issue?

    You see, not all on Eric's list have actually been nominated.

    From the City of Greensboro:

    "At the June 16, 2015 city council meeting, Councilmember Zack Matheny has indicated his intention to resign his District 3 council seat, and his replacement will be appointed.
    Pursuant to Section 3.02(c) of the Greensboro City Charter, if there is a vacancy in the office of city council, “the council shall choose some person for the unexpired term, to act as councilman; councilmen so selected shall have all authority and powers given under this charter to regularly elected councilmen . . . .”

    Additionally, Section 3.02(b) of the City Charter states that the person chosen by council must be a qualified voter and resident of the city and of the district where the vacancy occurred.

    The Office of the City Attorney recommends the following procedure:
    1. The councilmember who has decided to resign will tender his resignation at the council meeting. The councilmember remains eligible to serve until his replacement is selected.
    2. The mayor will open the floor to receive nominations by councilmembers to fill the seat. Each councilmember may nominate one candidate. These nominations by councilmembers will not require a second.
    3. Candidates may take the podium to speak. The mayor may set a time limit for each candidate to speak.
    4. The candidate must receive five votes to win the open seat. If there is more than one candidate, the council will vote upon the slate of candidates. If one candidate receives five votes, that person is selected. If not, the top two candidates are voted upon again, and the one receiving five votes is selected. Votes are cast in open session."

    It appears that concerned citizens and those who have submitted their names to fill the vacant seat are being shut out of the process. Is this a violation of our First Amendment freedom of speech?