The Vancouver City Council had a “retreat” Monday before its regular council meeting. (Can we please come up with another name to describe a long meeting at City Hall that isn’t a regular council meeting? How about “forced confrontation?”)
The agenda for the forced confrontation included a draft council compact.
Councilors Bill Turlay and Jeanne Stewart, who oppose the Columbia River Crossing, took the “minority needs to respect the will of the majority” rules personally and interpreted them as they would not be allowed to speak.
Other councilors reassured them they will still be allowed to talk, and finally Councilor Jack Burkman reminded them that they aren’t the only two people ever to be on the losing end of a vote.
Councilors debated the rules for longer than would seem possible, with Stewart pointing out that it’s human nature to have hidden agendas and Councilor Jeanne Harris worrying that the rule about “not sending, receiving or reading electronic messages during Council meetings” meant she could no longer take notes on her iPad.
The matter was set over for a workshop, and I don’t say this often, but it might be one worth watching on CVTV.
Before the workshop is scheduled, allow me to offer up a new compact for councilors, one that perhaps will be easier to follow.