Mayor Weiers has called for an Executive Session at 5 PM today, September 24, 2013 according to Paul Giblin’s story in the Arizona Republic. When the half million dollar external audit was finalized it included a legal analysis. While the audit was released to the public, the legal analysis was discussed in a previous Esession but was not released publicly. Councilmembers Sherwood and Martinez confirmed its “authenticity” to the Republic after it obtained a copy. This Esession is to provide Weiers an opportunity to remind councilmembers what information discussed during an Esession is and is not permissible to reveal.

Weiers’ problem is more than councilmembers talking “out of school” about Esession material. It signals his greater problem – a leadership vacuum. Each councilmember is vying for that position. In their eyes, what better way to achieve that goal than getting one’s name in front of the public as often as possible?  Sherwood led the charge on the Coyotes deal. He was out there publicly and often as long as it was a news story. Complaints were made by Alvarez citing conflicts of interest by some councilmembers. Then Alvarez and Hugh released Esession information about the Beacon bids and they became the next set of targets. Sherwood and Martinez confirmed the legal analysis portion of the external audit. These people are off the reservation. Can Weiers get them back on? They’ve already learned that they will suffer no consequences, at least from the Attorney General’s Office. After all, don’t forget that the City Attorney’s clients are each and every councilmember. He is charged with representing them and defending their interests. The letters he sent to the AG’s office were designed to do exactly that. Is it any wonder that the AG found no reason to charge any of them? Councilmembers, under Council Guidelines, can publicly censure one another but don’t look for that to occur either.

Today’s Esession will turn out to be an exercise in futility. Every time Alvarez doesn’t like a majority council position on an issue, leaks will occur. Every time one of them believes that leaking will enhance their position, leaks will continue. Weiers’ attempt to get them back on the reservation will only happen when he stops “leading from behind” and gets out in front of the issues before the others try to do so. Right now councilmembers are off the reservation and will only get back on when they are roped in.

©Joyce Clark, 2013

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