Yesterday, Hershman noted the need to start an investigation now. "We definitely should not wait until budget time, as Council VP Michael Donovan mentions on his blog." Since Lou does have 32 years of experience providing oversight to the Queen City, I would listen to him. But not Donovan.
In a blog post entitled Comments on another blog, Donovan takes these jabs: "[H]e does not understand how the policy system actually works." ... " City Council and the Controller have no control over those contracts. They are negotiated and managed by the administration. We are not at all a part of that process." ... "Mr. Hershman asks many questions and claims that he has all the answers. Wrong. For all the times he has spoken, I have rarely, if ever, found that his issues have substance. He has this grand idea that if he yells enough, something will happen. No, we are constrained immensely by the Charter." ... "My observation of prior councils where Mr. Hershman sat was that committee effort was a rubber-stamp, quick and dirty affair."
Looks like Lou can forget about getting a Christmas card from Donovan this year. Donovan apparently believes city council should only provide oversight at budget time. Here's how Lou reacts. "I don't have all the answers, but know enough to look for them. That's why we're there. There's no point even being there if they're unwilling to provide oversight. When a newspaper reveals overtime abuse like what we see from the firefighters, I have to question where they've been. We sign on to be watchdogs, not lapdogs. The Morning Call is not a member of city council, but seems to know more about what is going on than our elected officials. Don't the people deserve better representation than that? "
Hershman also points to the city's home rule charter provision that expressly gives council the power to conduct investigations and even subpoena witnesses. "Why is that there if we only provide oversight during budgets?"
Hershman finally questions just how effective council members can be when an administration finances their campaigns. "I think Donovan took $100 from the mayor. It should not be a nickel, no matter who is in office."
On his own blog, Donovan admits he's still learning. That's why Hershman's experience should be viewed as an asset instead of as a hindrance.