CITCOM meeting earns an A

About the need for a Human Rights Ordinance

CITCOM meeting earns an A
On a split vote, 6-1, (Capello) after yet another meandering discussion re permit parking, CITCOM reluctantly approved the Second Reading of an ordinance which establishes a bureaucratic procedure which includes a fee but eliminates zoning as an impediment to petitioning for a permit. This feels like the third or fourth pass at addressing the issue. Each time something new was introduced; this time it was "grandfathering." One commissioner suggested tha the addition of a fee might reduce the number of requests for permit parking.

Another split vote, 3-4, defeated a motion to direct the Administration to work with the Oakland County Road Commission re developing a plan to improve  East Eleven Mile Road. Voting against were Capello, DuBuc, Ellison, and Poulton. The debate was interesting in that it brought out differing views about such fundamentals as whether to slow down traffic or add bicycle paths or include street lighting, before the issued seemed to die from exasperation.

City Attorney David Gillam was directed to review other cities' human rights ordinances on the way to producing a draft for a Royal Oak HRO. Of the 18 speakers during Public Comment, one spoke about parking, two spoke against an HRO, and 15 spoke in favor. [See below.]

CITCOM approved filling vacancies in several departments, made possible by passage of the millage earlier this month. Other routine business included Listening to the report from the firm which conducted the Citizen Survey, the results of which will be published on the City's Website . . . Approval of a new in-car video for the Police department . . . Approval of the Parking Garage Management Agreement . . . Approved using the water bill as a collection route for donations to ROOTS . . . Directing the city attorney to draft an ordinance dealing with the aesthetics of security curtains in downtown businesses (chain links okay; solid non-transparent walls a no-no) . . . Support of a resolution to establish a Regional Transit Authority.

All done without a single raised eyebrow or snide comment.

About the need for a Human Rights Ordinance
Versagi Voice predicted this development almost a year ago.
"As has frequently been pointed out, partisan mindsets won't affect votes re most local matters. The unanimous decisions on 11 of 13 issues makes that clear. Where the progressive mindsets will make their presence felt is with the Left's equivalent of Evangelicals' social agenda -- matters like  marijuana, planned parenthood,  human rights, environment.  Local ordinances about most such issues can be put in place by CITCOM; they don't require voter approval." (Emphasis added)  [19 Dec 2011 CITCOM report, Part 2]

Most of the issues raised in this second attempt to enact a human rights ordinance were explored a decade ago when HRO proponents failed to convince CITCOM to enact an ordinance at The Table. Thereafter, voters turned down the proposed ordinance about 2-to-1. That Versagi Voice coverage included such language as:

Because so much of Royal Oak's public dialogue has been less than cordial --ranging from hissing and booing at City Hall to quiet sarcasm to political threats -- straights are surprised and unbelieving when they encounter something like the following on a gay website: "We affirm that homosexuality and homosexual relationships can be consistent with and be supported by the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

That language appears in the General Charter of Affirmation, a nationally active group of gay and lesbian Mormons. [See]

It's no big deal if Royal Oak enacts an HRO. It will have little but nuisance impact in Royal Oak's civic and business communities, then a future CITCOM will repeal it.

Frank Versagi is the editor of Versagi Voice.

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