Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Movies and City Council Work

Universal Studios is returning to Columbus in about 10 days for the next round of filming Public Enemies with Johnny Depp. The filming will be focused on East James street, although we all know that things can change once they are here in town. In addition, there will be more filming in Columbus in May, but not in the downtown area. It will be wonderful to see everyone again. Julie is having a “Universal Day” at Julie’s Java today from 1:00 – 4:00 to welcome back the folks from Universal Studios. Stop by. The excitement continues!! Get your camera and autograph book ready for the next round of Johnny Depp sightings.

We have been operating under the Committee of the Whole structure for almost a year now, and I’d like to report that this new model has made a significant impact on the way that we do business, and on the amount of work and quality of work that we are able to accomplish. The Committee of the Whole meets twice a month to consider agenda items that are important to the council and the citizens that they represent. We have ‘experts’ provide information to the council, and discuss each topic. When the City Council feels that they have enough information to make a decision, that item is moved forward to the regular business meeting for voting. This has streamlined the way we do business, and moved us out of a structure put in place in the 1800’s to a modern, efficient way of doing business.

The power of the City Council lies in their vote. They also have complete freedom to place any item on the agenda for discussion. My role as mayor is to make sure that each person is given a fair chance to state their opinion in an open, respectful climate. I may participate in a limited way in the discussion at the Committee of a Whole meeting, but not at a council meeting when the vote is taken. This keeps the power of decisions with the City Council. We have tacked some tough topics under the Committee of a Whole structure, and we are making wise decisions fairly quickly. No one council person has more power or control over another, and that provides you the citizens with equal representation. Our record speaks for itself. We are accomplishing a lot of good work for the City of Columbus.

A special thank you to all of the folks who stepped forward to serve on committees this year. Much of the work of the city goes on through our committees. Thank you for taking your precious time and energy to serve the people of Columbus.

My grandson received his bone marrow transplant today. He now needs to stay healthy until the cells are able to regenerate bone marrow and his immune system is functioning again. He has about 4 weeks of hospitalization ahead of him, and most of that in isolation. He has remained remarkably bright and cheerful through all of this.