Instead of its regular meeting time of 1:30 PM the Tuesday, August 20, 2013 council workshop meeting will convene at 9 AM. The 64 million dollar question is will Councilmember Alvarez show up or call in? She’s on the injured reserve list once again. If she does show will pain medication affect her performance or lack thereof?

They will begin with an Executive Session to meet the candidates for the City Attorney’s position. Do we know how many finalists? Do we know who they are? At least when the City Manager’s position was up for grabs we knew a smidgeon about the finalists. This time there is a cone of silence.

prayerThe most interesting and possibly contentious issue for open workshop discussion is to pray or not to pray at the start of the evening meeting. FYI: Only Phoenix has prayer before its council meeting. The cities of Gila Bend, Winslow, Apache Junction, Litchfield Park, Benson and Florence have invocations before their meetings. What’s the difference between an invocation and a prayer? According to the dictionary an invocation is the act of asking for help or support from anyone or anything.  A prayer is a spiritual communion with God or an object of worship. Is it appropriate to start council meetings with a prayer? You can weigh in by participating in my unscientific poll to the left of this article. This issue could become a moot point of discussion as this fall the Supreme Court will take up the issue of prayer at town meetings as it hears the Greece, New York case.

After their discussion of prayer council will move into another Executive Session where once again they will receive information about the external audit. Apparently the audit has been completed. If that is the case, it’s time to let the citizens of Glendale review the result. After all, taxpayers paid a hefty price for it – a half million dollars. It should be presented to all on a gold plated serving tray! Come on, council, it’s time to give it up and direct staff to post the results on the city’s website.

The other item of note in Esession is discussion of the IceArizona management agreement. What could this be about? The council approved the contract with IceArizona with its public vote on July 2, 2013 followed by the sale of the team by the NHL to IceArizona.  Is the contract still under negotiation?  That is the only way it can be discussed in Esession. Here is the exact verbiage used: “Discussion and consultation with the City Attorney and the City Manager to receive an update, consider its position and provide instruction and direction to the City Attorney and the City Manager regarding Glendale’s position in connection with agreements associated with arena management, the Arena, and the Hockey Team, which are the subject of negotiations (bold emphasis mine). [A.R.S 38-431.03(A)(3)(4)(7)].” Note that discussion is permitted in Esession while the negotiations are in progress but negotiations were concluded with council’s vote on July 2nd. Hmmmm…

©Joyce Clark, 2013

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