Open and Transparent Council Appointment Process: REWRITING DEMOCRACY IN SYRACUSE

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The 2017 Syracuse elections showed that the residents of Syracuse are insisting upon real change. We, the undersigned, assert that this expectation should also extend to the appointment of vacant Common Council seats. This city needs a fully apparent, open, and transparent process that is published and followed for these seats, which will occur to Helen Hudson's current At-Large seat when she ascends to the role of Council President.

Consider what happened last time there was a vacancy, in 2015:

"councilors whisked Joe Nicoletti into the job. Several councilors complained there was minimal discussion prior to a vote, which led to frustration among some councilors.

During that vote, Hudson said the process lacked transparency. Former Councilor Bob Dougherty lamented there was no consideration for other applicants. Khalid Bey, at the time, said the decision was "underhanded" and an example of "cronyism." - Chris Baker,  http://www.syracuse.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/12/syracuse_council_accepting_applicants_to_fill_vacancy_left_by_helen_hudson.html

Also according to Baker's story, Majority Leader Steve Thompson indicates they will "look for a credible candidate who can win" which would appear to indicate the Council is preparing to appoint from within their own party in order to maintain as close as possible to a one-party monopoly in our government.

The following Councilor At-Large appointment process proposal is based upon actual process just implemented in the city of Seattle, Washington in October 2017. See http://www.seattle.gov/cityclerk/council-vacancy

  1. CITY CLERK TRANSMITS LIST OF APPLICANTS: The City Clerk will provide to each Council member a notebook that includes all the applications received by the December 29th deadline. The City Clerk will also post all applications on their website, giving the public opportunity to review the applications and submit comments via email.
  2. SPECIAL FULL COUNCIL MEETING: Applicants for the vacant Council seat may address the Council and the public followed by a public comment period for the community.
  3. COMMUNITY FORUM: This process may be facilitated by interested Council members and is intended to be led by community groups. The purpose is to allow community members to meet and ask questions of the applicants. Council expects applicants to attend the forum and Special Full Council Meeting
  4. CITY COUNCIL EXECUTIVE SESSION TO DISCUSS QUALIFICATIONS: As permitted by law, the Council will meet in executive session to discuss the qualifications of candidates.

Let's come together for citizen participation in Democracy and hold our elected representatives accountable for their management of our city.  After signing this petition, please email your sitting councilors: 

cryan@syrgov.net, hhudson@syrgov.net, jkessner@syrgov.net, jnicoletti@syrgov.net, JCarni@syrgov.net, kbey@syrgov.net, nmaroun@syrgov.net, sboyle@syrgov.ne, SThompson@syrgov.net and Incoming Councilors:  JDriscoll@srygov.net, LAllen@srygov.net, TRudd@srygov.net



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