Bea Roberson: Change comes to City Council

blogimage.jpgLast week’s City Council meeting proved what I have thought all along: Tom Butt is going to be very good for the city. The changes he made to committees and the time employees have to take from their actual job to make a presentation, made a lot of sense. 

Instead of the ridiculous manner that meetings were been held in before, I think meetings are going to run much more smoothly and efficiently. Previously we spent much more time worrying about who did and didn’t have time to talk, or whether it is question time or comment time, than we did actually conducting the business of the city.

The Mayor’s new policy on standing committees is especially important. I’ve always thought that having the standing committees is redundant because they don’t save any time. People come to the City Council and they still take the same amount of time talking about things that were discussed in the standing committees. This made the city staff do presentations and have the same conversation twice, wasting their time and energy, and our money.

It will also help make sure that unqualified people aren’t on committees they know nothing about. For example, last year the people in the standing finance committee didn’t know anything about finance. It was just ridiculous the way the city was doing things. 

To me, it appears that the new Mayor is streamlining things, and he’s doing it the right way. Not that I think Tom Butt is the best thing since sliced bread, but he’s a very good business man. He’s doing things right and he’s getting things done. I have nothing but high hopes that we are going to be on a good path. We are going to be a city to reckon with.

I have no doubt that he will keep things moving and that he can get things going. When there is someone being obnoxious at City Council, he’ll say “Next speaker”without having to reply to something that everyone knows is not worth dignifying with a reply. What Tom Butt knows is that people and the city can have disagreements, but individual councilmembers don’t have to make a fight out it.

There are still many questions before the council. How is the vacant seat appointment going to play out? What is happening with the Chevron modernization permit? We need to figure that out so that we can get our 90 million, move on, and quit bashing Chevron or any other business that operates in Richmond. 

I think it’s time to move past that drama. We need to keep Chevron accountable to what the law says they have to do, and we need to give them their permit so they can modernize. Then we can let them operate with all the agencies monitoring them. Then, if there is some infraction, we will make them pay every single day until they fix it, not just until they report it. The only place you have to hit them is the pocket book. Then move on —it’s easy.

With the appointment, Tom butt is going to have a hard time getting someone appointed, but he’ll pull it off. He is a master of negotiation, and somehow —someway —he will do what needs to be done for the city. What he wants is someone he can count on for the vote for common sense. That’s what we need: common sense. We don’t need someone with their own  agenda, nor someone who will vote with Tom all the time. It is my observation that COMMON SENSE is absolutely NOT common.

I just want to move on, and I want things to be right. I want the city to prosper, I want us to stop with the baloney that we’ve seen in the past. It looks like that’s what Tom is doing, and I have no doubt that he’s going to continue to do just that. He’s a good administrator, and he will get what the city needs.


By: Bea Roberson, Richmond Resident

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