American Studies Question

American Studies Question

 

Introduction

I watched a virtual South Tucson’s city council meeting held on 15th of June 2021, at the Council Chamber located at 1601 South 6th Avenue, South Tucson Arizona. The meeting was led by Mayor Bob Teso. The meeting was attended by various prestigious city council members including Paul Diaz, Herman Lopez, Rita Rogers, Akanni Oyegbola, and Robert Romero. Among important guests also included the Secretary, City Attorney, Interim City Manager, Vice-Chair, Executive Director, General Counsel, and directors of different departments (City of South Tucson Mayor and Council, 2021). The meeting commenced at 6 P.M and lasted for about 4 hours and 44 minutes. During the meeting, several policy proposals were discussed and made. In this paper, I will discuss the specific agendas made during the meeting including payment for the incarceration of municipal prisoners, monetary funds for non-entitlement items of the local administration, formation, and operation of law enforcement teams, and reviewing and approving city’s housing budgets.

Agenda Items

Payment for Incarceration of Municipal Prisoners

One of the major agenda items discussed during this meeting was the approval, ratification, and adoption of IGA between Pima Country and South Tucson, Arizona related to payment charges for the incarceration of municipal prisoners. According to the finance director Lourdes Aguirre, renewal is done annually and there have been minor charges on fee structure compared to the last few years (City of South Tucson Mayor and Council, 2021). The fee was expected to be higher on the first day since it involves different people with the admittal and booking process to jail.

Monetary Funds for Non-Entitlement Items of the Local Administration

Another major agenda that was voted for was the authorization of grant applications for funding non-entitlement items of the local administration. The finance director and the city manager were to be authorized to submit and execute the grant application on behalf of the county (City of South Tucson Mayor and Council, 2021). This action was to be accomplished within two years. Following eligible uses, the city finance director was to be authorized to accept and disburse the funds.

Formation and Operation of Law Enforcement Teams

Members also voted for the approval of AGA concerning the joint operation and the formation of specialized law enforcement teams in public agencies. The mayor would be directed and authorized to execute the agreement. The joint team would be a Critical Incident Response team which would be in charge of critical incidents affecting the community and will be an officer-involved shooting team. According to Chief Omado, this is a way of showing transparency rather than mere investigations (City of South Tucson Mayor and Council, 2021).

Reviewing and Approving City’s Housing Authority’s Restated Bylaws

Another important item presented in the meeting’s agenda is the approval and adoption of the third amended and restated bylaws of the city’s Housing Authority. Meetings should be conducted once a month and the Executive director should be present. It was also suggested that Agency Plan, Annual Plan, and the Capital Fund Plan should also be done in the public meetings. Due to COVID-19, most residents have input into these plans (City of South Tucson Mayor and Council, 2021).

All the agenda items during the meeting required votes and all the members voted in favor of the stated agenda items. Apart from the agenda items, there were no contentious issues or any other items of particular interest. Among the most critical community services addressed in the meeting include prison services, law enforcement, and housing services. The city council addressed these services by providing reports and discussing previous and future developments that will benefit the community. The meeting was what I expected since it involved discussions from different county leaders and the provision of recommendations for future developments (Smith, 2021). I would have voted with the majority since the recommendations on the agenda items directly help the public. Increasing law enforcement teams means that the security of the city will be increased while Housing Authority’s Bylaws helps city residents in terms of rent and dealing with owners.

Voter participation played a significant role in allowing the agenda items to be passed. Since most of the council officials actively participated in the voting, the agenda set would significantly help the city once completed (Smith, 2021). While watching the meeting, I saw a pluralistic community power since power was distributed amongst diverse groups in the city council and the pulling and pushing between these groups explained how decisions were made.

 

 

 

 

References

City of South Tucson Mayor and Council. (2021, June 15). Public Notice & Agenda: City Of South Tucson Mayor And Council Regular Meeting, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, AT 6:00 P.M. [Meeting]. South Tucson Mayor and Council Regular Meeting, South Tucson, Arizona. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_tFCPKxZzs

Smith, K. (2021). Governing States and Localities (7th Edition). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.

 

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