Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Panel meets on volunteer ordinance; arts event coordinator disputes assertions

The Ordinance and Policy Committee of the Midway City Council met yesterday evening to work on the ordinance dealing with volunteer work in the city. At about 3:30, two hours before the scheduled start of the meeting, a notice went out from City Hall saying that the meeting had been canceled. City employees said later that the notice was supposed to be that a regular meeting of the council had been canceled, but a misunderstanding between them led to the incorrect notice being posted. The notice meant that Midway Messenger reporters who were going to cover the meeting did not.

Tonight, Marcie Christensen, event coordinator of the Francisco's Farm Arts Festival for Midway Renaissance, posted a comment on the blog item the Midway Messenger ran in advance of the committee's last meeting, on Feb. 23. She disputes several assertions or assumptions made at that meeting. For example, she says "The City's insurance policy already covers volunteers if they are injured while working on City property" and "The City's insurance policy does not require that the City pass a law to regulate volunteers, nor does it require volunteers to sign waivers holding the City harmless in the event of an injury."

Her concluding comment: "When we give credence and power to those who would see citizens and their government as adversaries, we give up the precious spirit of trust and goodwill that has been created over generations. Let us keep this spirit." To read her entire comment, click here or go to the original blog item and click on the Comment line.


Bob Rathbone said...

The committee actually met on Monday evening, despite saying it was cancelled. The committee chair notified one of the Renaissance volunteers, while she was at work, by telephone that day, which was a bit unusual. I'll be curious to see the final draft of the ordinance. The first one would essentially halt volunteerism in this town, or at least tightly control it, which appears to be the intent of the ordinance.

Bob Rathbone said...

Correction to my earlier comment. A Renaissance volunteer was notified the week before the meeting, not the same day.