Tuesday, August 26, 2014

So sue us

On Monday, the city Civil Service Commission went ahead and approved Mayor Landrieu's so-called reform initiative despite the opposition of the police and firefighters unions, the Civil Service staff, and the lone member of the commission elected by city employees. 
Clark said he couldn’t “in good conscience” vote in favor of the proposal because the commission did not have enough time to review the administration’s latest changes. He also was perturbed that the administration didn’t provide the commission with a marked-up copy of the new rules so that members could easily identify the latest additions and omissions.

“How can you vote on something that you just received?” Clark asked. “We are the Civil Service Commission. We have the power of legislation. We can write the rules in two ways. We can W-R-I-T-E them or we can R-I-G-H-T them.”
Throughout the process questions were raised about the constitutionality of the rule changes. The commissioners decided to risk an expensive court battle anyway in the hope that at least some of what they threw against the wall would stick.
As the meeting begins, employee groups, including the police associations and Randolph Scott, come out in opposition to changing the Rule of Three. There are still some questions as to the constitutionality of the change, because the current rule closely mirrors the Louisiana State Constitution. The comments are brief, and shortly after that, Cohn moves to approve the proposal as offered. He moves to make any provision found to be unconstitutional severable from the remainder.
Monday evening the Fraternal Order of Police had apparently already filed for an injunction.  The Lens released a copy of their lawsuit here.  I imagine there will be more about this in the coming days. 

The mayor will appear at the District B Community Budget Meeting Tuesday night at Touro Synagogue (4238 St. Charles Avenue) Maybe he'll address the issue there.

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