Friday, September 28, 2012

DC/DB Hybrid Tabled, Move to Amend, CATA

This week we had our Board Meeting. It was much quicker than I expected. The employee resolutions creating a hybrid defined benefit (pension)/defined contribution (401(k)) for commissioners and non-represented employees, which were controversial in committee, were tabled for one meeting on the Board floor. We had testimony from union leaders on these asking us to hold them because negotiations on the union employee contracts are still ongoing and are making progress. I expected this to take a lot of time and discussion, but it didn't.

Also, I may have mentioned that we would be doing the budget at this meeting. I apologize for any inconvenience that this created. We will be having a final vote on our 2013 budget in late October (the second Board meeting of that month).

We considered the resolution by Move to Amend. As I mentioned last week, this organization believes that campaign contributions are not speech and should be treated as property that can be regulated. They also believe that corporations are not people, and that they should not be able to contribute to campaigns in the same way that people are. Our resolution expressed support for Move to Amend's efforts to pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution expressing these ideas. This passed 12-2 with 11 Democrats and one Republican supporting, and two Republicans (Dragonetti and Dougan) opposing it. They did not indicate in debate why they were voting against this resolution.

Finally, we considered amendments to the contract that we have with the Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA). Commissioner Grebner once again (and for the final time) reminded us that the voters overwhelmingly passed additional taxes for CATA (roughly 73% in favor) and that the public supports CATA. He also reminded us that sometimes Commissioners don't like the things that CATA does, or want CATA to do something particular. This resolution is the place to attempt to rectify any concerns, as CATA has to do what we tell them in order to get the millage money. Commissioner Dragonetti asked if he could triple the service that CATA provides to to Delhi. Grebner said that Dragonetti could make a specific motion to this effect. He then reminded Dragonetti that Delhi Ready-Ride is a delhi-only service that CATA provides, and that Delhi is the only place in the service area that has such a service. This is done because CATA underserves Delhi and wants more people to ride the bus there. Dragonetti did not offer any amendment, and the resolution with the amendments to the contract passed unanimously.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

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