Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Will Charlie Tygard's Spot on the Audit Committee Embolden Him to Inflate "Council Authority"?

On the one hand, we have his stance on privatizing government services. On the other hand, there is this mean-spirited glee from Charlie Tygard about what sounds like weaker post-Purcell control over Metro's budget. He is now throwing around terms like "Council authority."

I'm not sure why fellow at-Large Council Member Tim Garrett nominated Mr. Tygard or why the Council unanimously acclaimed him for the Audit Committee, given Mr. Tygard's place already on the powerful Budget and Finance Committee, but his comments to NashPo make those initial Council decisions look like Dr. Frankstein turning on the juice.

Mr. Tygard seems to be hanging on to rather than moving on from his anger at the previous administration, and he seems to be fashioning his role as some kind of council hammer against the Mayor's budget even before Karl Dean introduces his first one next year. But if you look at Mr. Tygard's own 06-07 discretionary fund spending, he's not exactly a judicious model for other Metro employees on distributing funds to projects that have the broadest public impact. He is definitively special-interest, and he seems trained on the food in his own dish. The Audit Committee is supposed to act objectively and free from special interests; so, assigning Mr. Tygard to it seems to be a contradiction of its purpose.

It is nice to hear that Mayor Dean intends to work more closely with Council Members, but will he get tough with the cat herd when a whip and a cage match are called for? With Charlie Tygard in these powerful positions and acting full of stoked heat, I sure do miss Bill Purcell right now.

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