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Friday, December 03, 2021

Common Council rejects proposal to restructure Executive Committee

The Common Council denied a vote Tuesday to limit the number of referrals reviewed by the Common Council Executive Committee (CCEC). The motion failed after a 9-to-9 vote.  

The proposed legislation called to reconsider the duties of the CCEC  by limiting the types of legislation referred to the committee.  

Alders advocating for this change suggested that the CCEC should only review referrals that have not been evaluated by any other committees. The suggestion comes as a result of the CCEC receiving an overwhelming amount of referrals, according to an email by Ald. Keith Furman (Dis. 19). 

Ald. Furman proposed the legislation with the intent of making the legislative process more accessible for residents. 

“If residents advocate for or against an item, having referrals to multiple committees increases their efforts by adding more meetings for them to attend,” Furman said. “This is often a barrier for people without privilege.”

According to the email sent by Furman, the considered changes will not affect the alders’ decision-making power on the Common Council. 

Ald. Arvina Martin (Dis. 11) voted in favor of the legislation. Martin believes that limiting referrals from other committees will allow the CCEC to focus on long-term issues affecting the city. 

“I think that this adds to efficiency because we will be trusting our boards, commissions and committees to make solid recommendations that we can review as a council that the CCEC does not need to take an additional step to look at,” Marin said. “We have the opportunity as the council to really work on these long-range issues without worrying about potential immediate issues.”

Ald. Harrington-McKinney (Dis.1) voted against the proposal. Harrington McKinney stated during the meeting that she believes that the CCEC facilitates the productivity of the greater Common Council.  

“The executive committee functions to make the work of the council more efficient, and in reducing that work, I believe this amendment reduces the efficiency of the Common Council,” said Harrington-McKinney. 

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