The final agenda item at this past Tuesday's council meeting was the Paul LeBel "letter."
The letter, proposing that the Mayor's small office at the City Center become a timeshare space for all councilmembers and that the Mayor's cell phone be taken away, can be seen here.
LeBel sent his letter out several weeks ago and got four councilmembers to sign on to the changes outside of a public meeting. LeBel never brought his letter or its proposals to council for public discussion or for a public vote.
As soon as LeBel had four signatures on his letter (LeBel, Bob Garrett, Kay Senter, and Chris Bivens), LeBel quickly made out a schedule for timesharing the Mayor's office and had city staff type it up and send it out. Click here to see the schedule.
Gene Brooks made it clear that he didn't like LeBel using a letter that was sent and signed outside of a public meeting to change longtime policy and practice. Brooks added that LeBel didn't discuss any timeshare schedule with Brooks. LeBel just put Brooks name on a schedule and sent it out and posted it on the city's website.
Brooks added that he would not have agreed to be listed and that he does not want to be part of taking over or using the Mayor's office and, if that is done, he would give his timeshare to the Mayor.
Mayor Danny Thomas added that he has no problem in leaving the Mayor's office and working elsewhere when a councilmember wants to meet with a constituent in the small Mayor's office even though it might be an inconvenience.
But Thomas added that if a councilmember signs on to a scheduled period of time in the Mayor's office, then that councilmember should show up and be there.
This remark was directed at LeBel who set himself first (of course) to occupy the Mayor's office. But when his scheduled time came, LeBel came in 3 hours late and then only stayed for one hour of his "scheduled" five-hour stint in the Mayor's office. Click here.
Thomas also said that if council wants the cell phone that Thomas was given by the City when he took office, then there should be a public vote.
The usually combative LeBel was silent and made no motion to follow through with officially taking the phone away through a public vote at Tuesday's meeting.
Neither LeBel nor any of the signers of the LeBel letter participated in the public discussion of the office/cell phone issues at Tuesday's public meeting. Neither LeBel nor any of the signers of the LeBel letter made a motion to put approval of the office/cell phone issues to a vote at Tuesday's public meeting.