By Julie D’Aloiso
At the last Seven Hills council meeting, an emergency charter amendment was introduced by Council President Matt Trafis to limit who may gather signatures on petitions for any issue in the city. Southwest Sentry has obtained audio from the Seven Hills City Council Caucus Meeting on 8-8-16. In the audio, Trafis can be heard saying (in part):
[Council President Trafis] And the purpose for that is, ah. First off, this was started by the fire department’s petition and 52% of the signatures were gathered were circulated by people who don’t live in the city and I don’t think it’s right that people who don’t live in Seven Hills can dictate how we are going to govern our city.
[Councilman Kraynak] What do we do about the firemen who were out circulating this and they are not residents and they work for the fire department? Do they think they have the right to do this?
[Council President Trafis] Here is my fear: there are organizations that hire groups that get signatures. Who’s to say that our police department doesn’t hire a group to run around and get signatures saying you have to have ten guys on all their shifts. Or a rec center employee. . .”
If you watch the council meeting video, (https://youtu.be/gUe4yN4BoIA) Trafis declares that this ordinance has nothing to do with the fire department issues. However, this caucus recording paints a very different picture of the Council’s motivation. The caucus recording makes it clear that Seven Hills Council does not want the fire department, police department, or rec center employees having input on city issues and how their departments are run.
Mayor Richard Dell’Aquila disagreed with Council citing city ordinances already in place.
The audio from the caucus meeting can be found here: