The City Council’s Rules Committee is scheduled Monday to debate further changes the process for determining how an alder’s bright idea gets added to the city staff’s workload.
The latest proposal, from Ald. Bobby Burns (5th), would enlarge the size of the Referrals Committee from three to five members.
And — at least as drafted by city staff — the new proposal would gut a change approved by the Rules Committee just two weeks ago at the request of Mayor Daniel Biss.
That change would give the Referrals Committee the discretion to decline to advance a proposal for staff and committee work unless the council member had two co-sponsors for the idea.
Burns argues that expanding the committee’s size would make the committee more diverse. It’s not entirely clear whether he supports killing off the Mayor’s proposal to give the committee more discretion in handling referrals.
The changes Biss sought were approved by the Rules Committee on a 9-1 vote, with only Ald. Devon Reid (8th) in opposition.
In the two weeks since that vote, the pace of referrals has continued unabated.
Since the referrals process was put into place just after the April 2021 election, council members have made a total of 157 referrals — or an average of more than two a week.
And five of those referrals were made in the past two weeks.