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Lockett to seek attorney general's opinion on definition of 'ordinary business'

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Another legal question stands in the way of Augusta’s new personnel manual, despite a recent court ruling in the city’s favor, according to Commissioner Bill Lockett.

Today, Lockett will ask for General Counsel Andrew MacKenzie to seek an opinion from Attorney General Sam Olens on the definition of “ordinary business” as used in the city’s consolidation bill.

The answer, according to Lockett, will determine whether the commission overstepped its authority in approving the new manual with only six commission votes.

“This opinion must include examples of business that can be approved with six commission-council votes, and what business requires two-thirds of the commission-council for approval,” Lockett said. “An opinion needs to be made as to the legality of the personnel policy and procedures manual, since its passage was treated as ordinary business, when much of the content deals with restructuring the government.”

In his written ruling against the Baptist Ministers Conference of Augusta, Superior Court Judge David Roper said the commission’s adoption of the personnel manual didn’t change the city’s form of government.

He did not address the question of what constitutes “ordinary business” because the question wasn’t raised in the suit.

Plaintiffs’ 30-day deadline to appeal the ruling is fast approaching.

MacKenzie said the consolidation bill’s only mention of “ordinary business” is in Section 1-23, which sets the number of commissioners required for a quorum at seven.

Section 1-23 says “seven members of the commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of ordinary business.”

MacKenzie said he doubted the attorney general would offer an opinion on a local government matter since the litigation was resolved and plaintiffs have not filed an appeal.

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Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 01/07/12 - 07:23 am
0
0
Can't we get past this and do
Unpublished

Can't we get past this and do something about Augusta? I hope voters are smart enough to remember how dysfunctional this commission is and show it at the polls. Doubtful, but one can dream...

dichotomy
36185
Points
dichotomy 01/06/12 - 11:10 pm
0
0
I would say ordinary business

I would say ordinary business pretty much covers any business that is ordinarily conducted by the local government. Lockett should shut up and try conducting some instead of constantly trying to keep alive a failed system.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 01/06/12 - 11:24 pm
0
0
Nothing is "ordinary" when it

Nothing is "ordinary" when it comes to the business of our illustrious commissioners.

wondersnevercease
9218
Points
wondersnevercease 01/07/12 - 09:57 am
0
0
Augusta is doomed...as long
Unpublished

Augusta is doomed...as long as marion williams clones sit on the commission................................

belle
309
Points
belle 01/07/12 - 10:26 am
0
0
dichotomy, either the
Unpublished

dichotomy, either the Chronicle has screwed up an article again or you and/or I did not read it correctly. It clearly states that article 1-23 reads “seven members of the commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of ordinary business.” Yet Lockett's concern is that the commission overstepped its authority in approving the new manual (which, according to Judge Roper is ordinary business) with only six commission votes. That is a problem. Doesn't that automatically made the vote invalid? I don't think it is too much to ask for written clarification of the voting procedures. The more the rules are documented, the less likely anyone can file complaints in the future.

Susan McCord
132
Points
Susan McCord 01/07/12 - 08:02 pm
0
0
Here's the entire code

Here's the entire code section:

Seven members of the commission-council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of ordinary business, and an affirmative vote of at least six members shall be required for the commission-council to take action. Official action of the commission council shall be entered upon its minutes. Any member of the commission-council shall have the right to request a roll-call vote.

I'll translate that as saying a quorum is when seven of them are in one place. When they are, six "yes" votes make a measure pass, and the clerk writes it all down, etc.

Riverman1
90291
Points
Riverman1 01/09/12 - 05:02 am
0
0
Someone give Commissioner

Someone give Commissioner Lockett a dictionary and let's move on.

Little Lamb
47923
Points
Little Lamb 01/09/12 - 01:58 pm
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In explaining what he wanted

In explaining what he wanted regarding his request for an Attorney General opinion, Commissioner Bill Lockett said:

“This opinion must include examples of business that can be approved with six commission-council votes, and what business requires two-thirds of the commission-council for approval.”

No matter what examples the Attorney General comes back with, it will no satisfy Lockett.

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