The Associated Students Bicycle Improvements Keep Everyone Safe (A.S. BIKES) committee came under scrutiny at Wednesday night’s meeting of A.S. Legislative Council for using staff members to petition for funding to build a new bikepath.
A.S. Executive Director Don Daves-Rougeaux said he was concerned that two A.S. Bike Shop employees were used last Friday to collect signatures for a petition to fund the construction of the Broida Expressway, a bikepath that would run alongside Broida Hall. Daves-Rougeaux said the use of A.S. money to fund petitioning was outside of A.S. BIKES’s guidelines.
“It’s important to pay particular attention to the funding parameters designated in the bylaws of A.S. BIKES,” Daves-Rougeaux said.
Ed France, chair of A.S. BIKES, said the $100 used to send two employees out to gather signatures during the bike shop’s hours is a small issue in comparison to the efforts of the volunteers who worked over the last weekend to gather signatures.
“It is my and A.S. BIKES’s opinion that we were lobbying with A.S. BIKES funds, and were within the bylaws,” France said.
He said 20 volunteers, most of whom were members of the A.S. Environmental Affairs Board, gathered over 3,000 signatures last week for a petition to place a measure on the spring ballot to pass a $3 lock-in fee to fund the construction of the Broida Expressway.
Off-campus Representative Armand Vartanian voiced the general opinion of the council when he said the $100 used for the two employees’ wages on Friday was within the bylaws, and could be resolved easily.
“If spending the money is really a big problem, [A.S. BIKES] can pay back the $100,” Vartanian said. “The Broida Expressway is a huge deal. Our goal is to have it built by the end of the summer.”
A.S. Internal Vice President Denise Aceves ended the discussion, saying Daves-Rougeaux and A.S. BIKES should resolve the issue at a later meeting. Daves-Rougeaux said he would talk to France about the money later in the week.
“Ultimately, it is the prerogative of the council, but it is my job to bring it to your attention and to warn you that I think we’re walking shaky ground here,” Daves-Rougeaux said.
The council also continued its recent efforts to revise and clarify the A.S. legal code, and passed a bill authored by Off-campus Representative Ulises Gonzalez to update the A.S. Election Code. The bill made a few small changes in the code’s wording, and it struck a clause from the A.S. By-Laws that banned campaign advertising within 50 feet of a polling place because with the new online polling system, “there are no more polls,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said the purpose of the bill was to streamline the By-Laws and remove some unclear and outdated wording, and that the election process will not be altered.
“The election committee wanted to make the By-Laws more inclusive,” Gonzalez said. “Everything’s going to be run the same way.”