If you look at the Galveston City Council’s agenda today, you might be forgiven if you foresee two hours of public business and half a day of posturing. You might be forgiven if you wondered whether an election was coming up and some council members were using the meeting to campaign.

It would be humorous if every item on today’s agenda were harmless. But some erode the council-manager form of government.

The whole idea of that form of government, remember, involves a basic separation of powers. The council sets policy. The manager oversees day-to-day operations of the city.

Why would anyone see an erosion of that separation of powers?

• One item on today’s agenda seeks to add a towing company to the rotation. Look at the charter. Do you see any reason that the council needs to direct who should be in the towing rotation?

• Another agenda item seeks to resolve delays to the construction of the new Sea Scout base because of permitting problems. The council should set policy for the city’s permitting process, making sure that it’s reasonable and fair. But if the council has to be involved in resolving individual permitting problems, it’s presiding over a dysfunctional government.

• Yet another item would appoint an advisory member to a city committee. If some people run into term limits, they are summarily knocked off boards. If other people run into term limits, the council appoints them as “advisory members.”

At the end of the day, the council should ask itself whether it’s really conscientiously setting policy and leaving the day-to-day operations to the staff. If it studies its own agenda closely, it might conclude its doing something else.


At a glance

WHAT: Galveston City Council meeting

WHEN: 1 p.m. today

WHERE: City Hall, 823 Rosenberg, in Galveston

(6) comments

Ellen Morrison

And so, there will be the usual "gang of 4" running these items through COGCC while Beeton, Pappous, and Tarlton try valiantly to point out the problem while remaining professional.

Raymond Lewis

Perhaps you missed it confusdemmy but Beeton and Pappous spearheaded one of those 'pontificating platforms'.

GW Cornelius

Hopefully after May the problem will be solved. No more Beeton or Pappous. Then the city can grow.

Steve Fouga

I wish people would explain what they mean when they post statements like "Then the city can grow."

Grow how? What kind of growth are you thinking of? I might think your kind of growth is a bad idea. So what do you mean by "Then the city can grow?"

Any ideas, or just blowin' smoke?

Mike Leahy

It has been my experience that, for a certain type of upwardly mobile citizen, the word "growth" is, in and of itself, sacred, and an indisputable goal we all should pursue every day and at any cost. It requires no modifiers, no details and really, no active thought. Not only is "growth good", it is imperative! Like water and air, right-thinking people cannot live without relentless "growth".

And, this is by no means confined to Galveston. It is endemic, everywhere I go. The pot of gold is right there at the end of the rainbow, the way to get there is "growth" ,and all the smart people know that. All the fools just do not get it.

George Croix

Never mentioned by the 'growth' platitude tossers is that things can also 'grow' worse, and not 'grow' better.

Welcome to the discussion.

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