Monday night, the Election Study Task Force handed in its report to City Council. The task force was called to action five months ago to analyze proposed changes to the city government. Now that the city council has the report, finally, in its hands, what's going to come of it?
Council members from opposite sides of the aisle disagree over what should be and what will be enacted.
Kevin Lynch, a Democrat says, "Some of the recommendations we can move on fairly quickly...(such as) things we can do to get information out to our constituents."
Rob Schilling, a Republican, however, says getting information out isn't the problem or the solution.
He says, "You're gonna hear talking points about communication. Well communication isn't the problem. Representation and lack of participation is the problem and communication doesn't solve that."
While the right side thinks the city needs radical changes to fix the problems, the left thinks minor adjustments to the current structure is best.
"I hope fundamental changes are made in the way we elect people, primarily with wards and a directly elected mayor," says Schilling.
Lynch, however sees these hopes, particularly a move to a ward-based system, as politically motivated.
"There's no reason to not have every city council member aware of every issue in every neighborhood. I'm not sure what interest making it easier for some council members to serve with a smaller demographic really serves."
The task force was billed with not suggesting a solution, but evaluating all possible solutions. The report is available on www.charlottesville.org, under the City Council's 2005 Agenda link. A work session will be held to discuss the report.
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