Remembering those MIAs
Veteran’s Day is a good time to remember missing in action soldiers (MIAs). My uncle LaGrant Wadman (Grant) is among these, a newly married young man in his 20’s who went MIA in October 1952 during the Korean War. He was a member of the 7th Infantry Division, which suffered 430 casualties during the first days of the Battle of Triangle Hill, one of the bloodiest battles of this war. A war long ago, a battle hardly known.
I often wonder for what reason. With a military budget approaching $1 trillion, nearly 800 bases worldwide, it is not surprising that we are involved in endless wars, namely Vietnam, Libya, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Gaza, etc. which are presented as contests between Good (us) vs. Evil (them). It’s only much later that the actual causes of the lead-up to these conflicts come out showing that there are a number of explanations to why the conflict happened, making it difficult to determine who was at fault. One thing is certain, there will be more MIAs.
Questions consent agenda item
On April 25, 2023 our City Council voted to settle with our former city manager and city attorney over employment litigation that would likely cost taxpayers over $2 million, even though a decision on the matter was due to come down from the State Supreme Court in a matter of days – a decision that most observers felt that they were bound to lose.
Poor judgment? Probably. Failure to protect city assets and constituents’ tax dollars? In my humble opinion, definitely. But in my mind, the most jarring aspect of this is how it was done. It was placed on the consent agenda, wherein agenda items are voted on as a group without discussion before the public nor with the public.
Here is what Roberts Rules of Order has to say about consent agendas:
“For greatest efficiency, include the following types of items in the consent portion of your meeting agendas:
■ Topics of a routine/recurring nature
■ Procedural decisions
■ Non-controversial issues that do not require debate or deliberation
■ Items previously discussed for which the team has come to a consensus, but that still need an official vote.”
In my opinion, that legal settlement was anything but “non-controversial.” It was not of a “routine or recurring nature” nor was it “previously discussed for which the team has come to a consensus.” If they had done so outside public view, they would be in clear violation of the Open Meeting Law.
Fast-forward to our last City Council meeting, where the council voted to renew 30-year-old airport hangar leases with no increase in rent for 10 years with a possible 10-year extension after all of them, except Matt Fox received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from a PAC of wealthy aircraft owners and pilots. Kudos to Councilman Fox.
Who is this City Council representing? Certainly not the average working-class taxpayers of Boulder City. It appears that they believe that their job is to reward their cronies and the wealthy class exclusively at the expense of the rest of us.
Matt Di Teresa