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New Yorkville council’s first act:  Repeal its ‘governing ordinance’

Yorkville Mayor  Gary Golinski

Yorkville Mayor Gary Golinski

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Updated: September 29, 2011 12:35AM

YORKVILLE — The new City Council and mayor hadn’t been in their chairs for 30 minutes this week before repealing the basic ordinance that governs their own behavior.

Aldermen voted 7-1 to repeal the council’s governing ordinance, with the intention of sending it to the Administration Committee for a full rewrite.

Aldermen had no discussion about the ordinance as they took the vote, with Alderman Diane Teeling, 4th Ward, the only one to vote against the repeal.

After the meeting, new Mayor Gary Golinski said the governing ordinance “has always been a little confusing” because “it’s been amended about 12 times or so.”

“In the past, the governing ordinance was followed when it was convenient, but not always,” he said.

The ordinance contains such things as how meetings will be conducted and how aldermen should conduct business. Included in the ordinance are ethics considerations for what gifts aldermen can accept.

The ordinance also details how committee assignments are made, with seniority and the previous position an alderman held on a committee as a guide.

Without the ordinance, Golinski, as the new mayor, was free to appoint committee heads as he saw fit.

Under the previous governing ordinance, Teeling would have been in line for a committee chairmanship, because she had been a committee vice-chairman. While Teeling did vote against the repeal of the governing ordinance, she later joined other aldermen in unanimously adopting the new committees.

Golinski said he did not see the seniority question in appointing committees as an issue.

“In the real world things don’t work out that way,” he said. “It should be about putting people in the chairmanships that match their skills and experience.”

So the new committee chairmen approved were: Rose Spears, administration; Marty Munns, economic development; Carlo Colosimo, public safety; and George Gilson, public works.

The board also appointed Spears as mayor pro tem.

Former Alderman Robyn Sutcliff, who left her 3rd Ward chair about 20 minutes earlier, spoke against repealing the ordinance. She said the governing ordinance set up clear ethics considerations, such as whether or not aldermen could take gifts.

She also said the council was going against its own procedure of having two readings of an ordinance or proposal on the council floor before passing it. Tuesday night was the first time the proposal had been before the council.

“I know it’s being rescinded with the idea it will be sent back to the Administration Committee to be rewritten, but I don’t think we should go a day without it,” Sutcliff said.

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