Mayor Sharon ponders constitutional issues...
Councilor Mapp focuses on the matter of the pay: no matter how short a time she serves as acting city administrator, he holds, she is not entitled to an increase in her remuneration, which is set by ordinance.
My attention is caught by the very circumstances under which Mayor Robinson-Briggs seeks to exercise the 'acting' city administrator role.
Section 3.7 of the Charter, which deals with the Mayor's powers, allows for the Mayor acting as a department head in case of an emergency which is defined as a 'clear and present danger to the public health, safety or welfare'.
As I see it, absent such a declaration -- which would have to specify the nature of the emergency and include notifying the state -- Sharon has no authority to appoint herself acting city administrator at all (with or without any special payment).
Further, any actions taken by her during such a declared emergency (including the spending of funds), would have to be retroactively approved by the Council after the 'emergency' was deemed ended.
Why does everything with Sharon always come down to a question of money? The amount involved may seem paltry (perhaps $2,500 or so), which leads one to wonder what on earth is so important about it. Perhaps Sharon needs the cash for expenses concerned with her bid for the State NAACP presidency?
What is to be done?
Well, the Council could sue, but that seems a pointless waste of even more money. Or the Council could complain to the Department of Community Affairs, citing the lack of a declared emergency and ask for a ruling against Mayor Robinson-Briggs, including a demand to return the money to the city if she has already bullied her way into getting it.
What do you think?