Thursday, May 11, 2006

Change the venue

This morning's Tennessean has an article about the Metro Council receiving free meals and how that could be a conflict. Being used as a prime example is the Mayor's State of Metro address before the Chamber of Commerce which has previously been free to councilmen but is no longer due to a recent rule change.

My question is: Why is the Mayor presenting this information to a private group when this is public information being provided by a public servant? No citizen should have to fork over cash to hear their own mayor give this important overview of their city. The problem isn't who pays for the meals. The problem is the private nature of the venue. Both the State of the Union and the State of the State speeches are given in legislative chambers. Why not the State of Metro speech?

[Councilman Parker] Toler said it's "a little idiotic," however, that he can't have a soft drink or cookie if he attends the grand opening of a store in his district.
My suggestion is that at any event where the public is invited and freely offered food councilmen can eat free too. If it's not offered to the general public--it's off limits to the council members.

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