2016Jan07: Greg Anderson explains Committee of the Whole approach to Jax HRO

To download Council President Anderson's procedural memo click on the image to the right.

And, click the object at the right for a legal opinion on how the Public's input can be limited.

Also, this Anderson memo outlines the schedule during the February 04 meeting.

2016 LGBT Bill Schedule in City Council

Both bills were withdrawn in 2016.  See the 2017 bill for the current malice.

2016 Regular City Council Meetings:

January 12, 5:00pm, City Hall  Already Held

January 26, 5:00pm, City Hall  Already Held

Press coverage is below this "Committee of The Whole" analysis

Q & A on the “Committees of the Whole"
The Meaning of the Council President’s Procedural Memo

  1. Is “Committee of the Whole” actually the entire council debating at each meeting?  Answer: Yes.
  2. Does it mean no referrals to the other Council committees?  Answer: Correct.  “Committee of the Whole” will replace the typical committee process unless the Council President changes his current plan which is detailed in his procedural memo, available here.
  3. Does it mean no discussion of the proposed LGBT law at a regular Council meetings?  Answer: It likely means that there will be no vote on either bill (neither the Gulliford nor Hazouri bill) at any regular Council meeting.  An individual member may raise questions, if he chooses and if the president does not stop him.  However, it is unlikely the president will allow a vote at a regular meeting after issuing his procedural memo.  It is also unlikely that he will allow discussion.
  4. Does the “Committee of the Whole” function like other Council committees, with the ability to adopt amendments, etc.?   Answer: Yes, regular procedure should apply.  However, the president has a great deal of discretion.
  5. Can the process be delayed — pushed out into additional meetings — by the Council President or some number of the other Council Members?   Answer: The president will likely follow what he has laid out in his announcement.  However, members can make motions, and if votes are allowed, that can change things.  If the bills are considered in the order they were filed, as the president’s announcement indicates, then Mr Gulliford’s referendum will be considered first.

            Finally, under the “Structure” section of the president’s memo (the fourth bullet) the wording is somewhat confusing.  He may be saying that the March 3 meeting will have deliberation, then move from “Committee of the Whole” into what is called a “Special Meeting of the Council”, and then take the vote.

            That way the bill moves out of the committee process, and it does not go back to the Council at a subsequent meeting.

Already           Held


By A.G. Gancarski January 7, 2016 http://floridapolitics.com/archives/197955-greg-anderson-explains-committee-whole-approach-jax-hro

On Wednesday, Jacksonville City Council President Greg Anderson sent a memo signaling that the Jacksonville HRO expansion discussion would be held in a Committee of the Whole on three Thursday afternoon meetings in February and March.

On Thursday, Florida Politics spoke with Anderson, and he gave more details about why he chose that approach.

Anderson, a consensus builder by nature, wanted to bring that same levelheaded approach to committee deliberation of the emotionally charged issue of broadening the Human Rights Ordinance.

His desire: “to elevate this issue, and deal with it, while still continuing the good work that Council is doing.”

By handling the HRO discussion in a discreet way, it’s possible for Anderson to do just that.

The Council President says he’s gotten positive reaction thus far from members of Council, who seek to avoid the drama that characterized 2012, where the bill went through committee meeting after committee meeting, with some key changes in Rules that Council members who weren’t part of that committee had to educate themselves on.

Anderson expects the Committee of the Whole approach to be “consistent and clear,” avoiding the emotionalism and pitched rhetoric that could otherwise predominate.

With almost a month for opponents and proponents of the HRO to marshal their arguments, one can expect opponents of HRO expansion to make a rationalist case against Tommy Hazouri’s bill and in favor of Bill Gulliford’s referendum idea at these meetings. One should also expect independent polling numbers to be brought forth beforehand in private meetings, numbers intended to sway politicians on this issue, especially those who might want to run again.

Council President Anderson has managed Council through some interesting times. Barring the unexpected, this HRO process may be the most interesting of all.

2016Jan06: Committee of the Whole to consider Jax HRO legislation

By A.G. Gancarski January 6, 2016

Tommy Hazouri wanted the Committee of the Whole to consider the fully-inclusive HRO bill he introduced.

And Council President Greg Anderson obliged, albeit independently of Hazouri’s stance.

On Wednesday afternoon, Anderson sent out a memo.

“As President it is my responsibility to make sure we have a fair, civil, and orderly debate as we move to a decision. I will do my best to accomplish this but will need your help as well.  Civil discourse is a key pillar of our democracy and this discussion should reflect that understanding.  Council rules are clear on decorum, and the City Council will follow these rules ensuring that decorum will be maintained.  There will be no demonstrations in the chamber,” Anderson wrote.

“During the course of this deliberation and debate we have other business to accomplish. The Committee of the Whole structure will allow the Council to focus on the HRO legislation while continuing to move forward on other equally important matters.  The schedule will allow the Council to hear from the public by providing ample opportunities for Public Comment and Public Hearings.  A calendar outlining these meetings will be forthcoming.  This is in addition to the 3 community forums previously held by Mayor Curry,” Anderson added.

The Hazouri and Gulliford HRO bills will “travel together,” as Hazouri stated his preference was.

“Meeting dates are Thursday afternoons; February 4, February 18 with the final meeting held on March 3. Meetings will begin promptly at 3:00 p.m. concluding no later than 6:00 p.m.  Public comment will be taken for 1 hour at each meeting,” Anderson added, with the March 3 meeting “noticed also as a Special Meeting of the Council. The Committee of the Whole will deliberate and then vote on each bill.  Thereafter, the Council will convene in Special Meeting and vote likewise on each bill.”

The bills will be considered in the order filed, unless Mayor Lenny Curry files his own version, in which case that will take precedence.

Mayor Curry is withholding comment, as he did when the two bills were introduced in December.