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« Slightly cooler | Main | Banning the burqua »

Jan 26, 2010


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Yes, and Kudos to Commissioner Shaw for being the one brave politician to admit as such.


Not trying to take away any of the city councils blame, but how do you "pressure city staff to provide better information" when they have told you what they know (although we now know it was false information), its a time sensitive vote, the clock is ticking, and the clock will run out before your meeting is over?


This a pivotal moment for the City and the County. Let's see if any of them have what it takes to recall their vote. There is a huge green elephant in the room!


It appeared to me that the Council relied entirely on what the City staff gave them without doing any of their own research on the bonds prior to the vote on Dec 15. They know what's on the agenda and if they aren't sure about the bonds, they need to be asking questions before the council meeting and not pointing blame at the staff after the fact. It's a cop out.


The new council was sworn in on December 1, 2009. The vote was December 15th. Recall that the deadline for the Notice of Intent was also on the 15th. The new council thus had only two weeks to decide whether to use the bonds or not, regardless of the projects listed. The Staff should have explained the Recovery Zone Bond process (which is admittedly poorly outlined), but I think the blame game for the vote on December 15th is really much ado about nothing when the process is understood.

If there was confusion about the legal effect of the Notice of Intent, then that was the City Attorney's responsibility. However, because of the deadline, it was "use it or lose it" regardless of what the elected officials understood. There was no contract made with any of the private parties by that vote, and the City may still waive or request reallocation (which sends the money to another unit of local government) of the money at any time.

If they don't like the project, they can waive that allocation.

In short, as a practical matter they weren't voting on the hotel on the 15th, they were voting to take the money or leave it on the table for someone else. They can still say "no" before the bonds are issued.

Joe Killian

If you go back and look at the County Commissioners meetings where this was discussed - you can view them online - you will see that questions were asked and County Attorney Mark Payne was very explicit.

Some of the commissioners now say they wish they'd asked more questions and made sure they understood everything more clearly -- some also wish the Alston angle had been made made clear, up front.

But none of that's down to the staff or the county attorney, at least at the county level.

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