Hold Coachella Council Accountable for Misbehavior
Fine them $100 for behavior infractions residents suggest
La Prensa Hispana
The Coachella community is a bit stung by the city councils intent to spend $32,000 on a behavior modification workshop for city council members to be conducted by an outside firm.
Sal Velasquez, active community representative with attendance of more Coachella City Council meetings than the council members themselves presented a simple and inexpensive solution to the councils’ behavior problem. On June 10th, Mr. Velasquez suggested there be an additional incentive for council members to behave other than common sense. Velasquez understands heated discussions and the fact the temperaments’ of the council representatives including the mayor are conducive to long drawn out debates with no clear objectives. The end results are prolonged meetings, walk outs by council members, arguments, poor representation and a poor image for the City of Coachella.
Velasquez made a suggestion to be put into a resolution that would fine any council member $100 for not following the rules of order, continuously interrupting another council members remarks, not adhering to time limits, violating any speaking order, physical misconduct, verbal misconduct, using explicit profanity and serious infractions of civility. Mr. Velasquez has suggested the attending Chief of Police, law enforcement official or a neutral party delegated by the council make the determination of when things have gotten out of hand. The member causing the commotion will be warned and flagged with a $100 fine to be paid prior to the following council meeting.
It is understood the City Council as a whole has to agree to follow the rules which they now adhere to based on inclination. The fine would be used to supplement funds for worthy community activities such as the Boxing Club, Esperanza Youth Center, Library or other non- profit activities.
Velasquez said “the main objective is to stop the arguments, follow the agenda and use the $32,000 for worthwhile activities”. Velasquez noted there has been a proliferation of graffiti in Coachelita as a result of two graffiti removal city employees being laid off. Mr. Velasquez noted these are two positions which could be saved with the $32,000 and help the image of the city. Graffiti is a bad element and leads to turf wars, bad image, gang related messages and indirectly supports the drug culture.
Mr. Velasquez noted the city has a long history of community activism but the city residents need to become more involved in holding city officials accountable for their actions. “The only time they flood the council chambers is when awards are being given out, residents need to flood the chambers when their tax payers money is being thrown down the drain”.