There has been so much "political theft" to report on in Janesville, it's really hard to keep up and stay focused on just one item. I must have about 20 drafts in two weeks that will likely be deleted because they are now old news.
One of the more recent stories I couldn't drop is about Janesville's new council president Douglas Marklein. According to a Gazette article, Marklein, in his new role, will work actively to overturn several recent council decisions. On the surface, that is welcome news.
Because of the city's broken style of "progressive" "at-large" government, I've always thought each "new" council should advise and consent to revisit EVERYTHING passed by previous councils.
Not too long ago, council members would object to that suggestion, saying it is counter-productive, divisive and disrespects previous council decisions and opens the door for the next council to do the same and reverse it yet again. But there's a big difference now from then. It's acceptable now because the decisions Marklein wants to repeal are those that dared to run against the will of city staff.
Marklein said he'd like to examine issues in which the council voted against the will of city staff. Those include the council's decision to create an ordinance establishing just cause and progressive discipline policies for city employees, which staff thought was unnecessary.
Sure. Repeal an ordinance that hasn't had a chance to work or prove itself yet. But God forbid. Elected counselors should never go against the will of city staff. Not in Janesville anyways.
On another issue the deeply partisan Marklein wants to shut down, he's not shy about taking an active early stance on it.
Marklein also wants the council to address an idea by Jorgensen that would give the council the ability to approve spending on consultants the city manager wants to hire.
“I think that's a waste of staff time,” Marklein said.
I can already hear some folks saying, "What's up with Duggy? He's become the poster child for reckless city spending on consultants. We're afraid to approach him because he's already made up his mind on consultant spending. He won't listen to us." Ummm. LOL.
And ...after smear attacking another council member for using his cell phone according to Council Policy 88.
Another priority for Marklein is an open, informal council meeting in May where members will discuss—but take no action on—Janesville City Council Policy 88. The policy dictates expectations for council members' conduct, including how they use personal electronic devices during meetings.
Yes, "discuss" but take no action. Why codify the prohibition of electronic devices during council meetings when we can use the existing dubiously worded vague policy at our convenience against council members who don't lockstep with the kleptocracy? For sure.
I've written much about this in the past and the Gazette article and Marklein's statements confirm everything.
Seventy-five percent of a Janesville city council member's mission is to uphold the will of the special interests running the city staff bureaucracy. Janesville's "at-large" city council members do not represent city residents, geographical areas or voters. It is by design meant to take power out of the hands of the people. The remaining 25% of a council member's mission is spent convincing Janesville residents otherwise, and that they want only "what's best for the city."