Rice Bill to Ensure Greater Accountability in Local Contracts Approved
Ron Rice delivers a swift, crushing blow to the Mayor’s office. That is, if by “swift” you mean “eleven months later” and by “crushing” you mean “instantly forgettable.”
Senator Ron Rice, one-time rival to Mayor Cory Booker, has penned a bill to “ensure greater accountability for local contracts” — which was created in response to what I referred to back in June as “a slightly dodgy effort by Booker to push through a resolution to award a legal contract to a politically connected law firm.”
“As a former City Councilman in Newark, I take great exception to the fact that Mayor Booker believed he could push a contract increase through without getting the approval of a majority of Newark’s council,” said Senator Rice. “In the United States of America, we do not have royalty, and no local official should have the right to commit taxpayer dollars without approval of the people’s representatives – the municipal council. This bill clarifies the intent of existing rules, and ensures that moving forward, all contract discussions are done in a fair and accountable process.”
The clarification is necessary and helpful, but the pretense that Booker was ramrodding the increase through the council is disingenuous: Booker called for a new vote on the contract and it was subsequently approved by a majority the entire council.
That whole argument aside: did it really take eleven months to get that bill written? Maybe I’m too used to how capitalism operates, but that seems like a long time to write a law just to clarify what “majority rule” means.