By Joe Sack, Rye City Councilman
The council ought to promote more openness and transparency, and create more checks and balances in city government by making the following changes:
- Appoint two attorneys in the community to serve as volunteer co-Inspector Generals. Give them subpoena power. Refer them matters for investigation, including matters involving the city manager, mayor and council.
- Allow all council members to request and obtain information and documents from the city manager at any time without having to go through the mayor.
- Allow the council to conduct periodic meetings directly with department heads without having to go through the city manager.
- Require the city manager to consult with the council before making employment decisions regarding department heads.
- Make the council the appellate body to hear all FOIL appeals instead of the city manager.
- Ensure that all public meetings are properly noticed pursuant to the Open Meetings Law.
- Prohibit department heads from engaging in any outside employment or consulting whatsoever, whether paid or unpaid.
With regard to the Rye Golf Club specifically:
- Hire a separate independent auditor, with a specialty in auditing club operations, to audit the books and records of the golf club on a monthly basis.
- Give the golf club commission real power, by allowing the commission to hire and fire the golf club manager in consultation with the city manager, and requiring the golf club manager to report to both the commission and the city manager. The commission needs more authority, not less, and a separate oversight board made up of non-members is not the answer.
- Hold elections by the membership this year to fill all spots on the newly-empowered commission.
- Ensure that all contracts are awarded and all invoices are paid with the approval of both the city manager and the commission, and in a public forum.
Rye City Councilman