Tia Mitchell has an good piece up at the Times-Union outlining what to look for in today’s Committee of the Whole Hearing on the Trail Ridge Landfill. I thought I’d share some of it:
1. A procedural vote that allows the council to assemble as a “committee as a whole.” This just means that they will discuss the bill as a unit and create a committee recommendation that will later be ratified by the full council at a regular Tuesday night meeting. Without becoming a “committee as a whole” the Trail Ridge bill will have to be voted out of three separate committees it is currently assigned to. Fussell also must appoint someone to chair the meeting.
2. The mayor’s proposal will be presented by Ebenezer Gujjarlapudi, director of the city’s Environmental Compliance Department. Chief of Staff Adam Hollingsworth and other top mayoral aides will likely be at the meeting, but Gujjarlapudi is who the mayor wants to be the public face of the issue.
3. Then comes public comment. Each person will have three minutes to speak, which is council policy. However, there are ways around this. Council members can ask the speakers questions, therefore extending their time indefinitely. Also, a bunch of people who all have the same opinion can pool their time to allow one person a longer period to speak. (For example, 10 people can have three minutes each or one representative can have all their time.)
It’s important to remember that the meeting will not last indefinitely. Those wishing to speak should arrive early and fill out a speaker’s card. If you’d like to follow Tia’s coverage of the meeting, visit her blog for continual updates throughout the meeting. JaxPoliticsOnline.com will do its best to keep up with the coverage Thursday, but unfortunately, journalism is not something any of us do for a living and it looks like we all have a few scheduling conflicts. Look for our updates Friday morning…