Thursday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 50. Sunrise is 7:12 and sunset 4:20 for 9h 08m 25s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 28.9% of its visible disk illuminated.
Whitewater’s Board of Zoning Appeals meets at 6 PM.
On this day in 1941, The Imperial Japanese Navy carries out a surprise attack on the United States Pacific Fleet and its defending Army and Marine air forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Japanese forces simultaneously invade Shanghai International Settlement, Malaya, Thailand, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and the Dutch East Indies.
Embedded above is a video of the 12.5.23 meeting of the Whitewater Common Council. Yesterday’s post addressed the negligence of this council president on agenda Item 16 about basic council self-governance. See The Council President’s (Willful) Negligence.
Two other parts of the meeting stand out.
Individual Requests. Some members of the council care more about an issue than others, and will express concern when they (as one or two members of a seven-person body) don’t receive the answers they want when they want. One or two members’ expectation of individual service on larger projects is a (chronic) misunderstanding of collective governance. About a requested study of salary comparatives, this misunderstanding arose yet again. The discussion begins at 28:24 on the recording above. Here, as in the past, Councilmember Allen will sometimes speak in the plural (“So we’ve asked you for we’ve given you the list twice now”) when “we” refers to one or two and not a majority of the council. Of individuals requesting as a mere faction, see Scenes from a Council Meeting (Representations) (“what we’re looking to do here” emphasis added) and Micromanaging the City of Whitewater’s Human Resources Work (“Many years ago, a conservative councilmember rebuked a colleague for expecting that individual members have the authority to assign work or projects to city staff. That conservative councilmember was right — it’s a collective body, and individual members aren’t empowered that way.”)
Lack of Support for Claims. It’s odd, but now also a recurring oddity, that one or two council members will make a claim, but when asked will lack information to support their claim. They’re the ones who will present the claim, but then be unable to substantiate it.
At the Tuesday night session, Councilmember Allen contended that some communities requested as part of a salary comparison were omitted from a city-supplied list, but when asked if he had examples of omissions (“Could you give me a specific example?”) Allen’s reply was “Right now, no.” Video at 29:55. Allen’s quick attempt to supply a few omissions mentioned only cities that had, in fact, been included on the list. Video at 30:00.
Later, Allen suggests to Councilmember Gerber that she, Gerber, had not received some salary information Gerber had requested. Here’s the discussion beginning at 50:09:
City Manager: What Rachelle’s saying is that she provided that information.
Finance Director Rachelle Blitch: That was provided on October 25th. It’s in the agenda packet.
Councilmember Allen: Jill, there’s other information that you have not received it.
Councilmember Gerber: I don’t remember. I don’t recall not saying she hasn’t, I just don’t recall.
Earlier at 30:27, the city’s Human Resources makes the point that any reasonable person should grasp:
So one thing I just want to mention, that’s hopefully what the metrics will help us look at, given that information. And then we can use that to determine who actually which communities are the most comfortable based on not only population, but shared revenue, spending, all of those things.
Honest to goodness, isn’t that obvious? The best practice is to complete a wide study and narrow it after reviewing that study’s data. Cherry-picking now invites errors later by idiosyncratic inclusion or omission.
We’re a beautiful city of thousands who properly grasp the concept of collective governance and the need for evidentiary support for one’s own claims. Whitewater’s residents can grasp these concepts quite well. Any misunderstandings are, so to speak, more specific and particular.