I filed an ordinance for first reading on September 20 that would amend the pending OTMR ordinance to allow an Attacher the choice to hold Metro harmless if threatened litigation were to materialize. The Attacher could choose to cover Metro’s losses and attorneys’ fees and proceed with its planned Make Ready work, or the Attacher could choose not to cover Metro’s losses and attorneys’ fees and not proceed with the work.
Also, I plan to offer the substance of this ordinance as an amendment to the main OTMR ordinance next Tuesday.
The Council procedural stuff gets complicated. But, the starting point is that I would prefer to offer these changes as an amendment to the main OTMR ordinance on third reading on Sept. 20. But because amendments can’t be considered for this bill on third reading under the rules, I would need to ask to suspend the rules. And, if any two Council members object, I can’t suspend the rules.
My sense is that if Google were okay with this language, I could probably succeed in getting the Council rules suspended to allow the language to be considered.
If my effort to amend the main OTMR ordinance on third reading fails because two or more colleagues object, then I have my ordinance with the same language as a fallback. Of course, it would take three readings to move it forward — just like any other ordinance.
I gave Google’s lobbyist a copy of the proposed amendment today. They said they’d get back to me. I will be curious to see if Metro Legal or the Council Director will have a position about the legality of what I have drafted. I assume the Mayor’s Office will continue to not take a position. Having said all that, you would think that most people could get behind Metro being protected as much as possible if the promised litigation actually happens.
It should be interesting to see how this goes.