Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Picture This Conflict

On Oct. 4, a City Council budget meeting and a Board of Adjustment meeting were both scheduled for City Hall Library. City Administrator Carlton McGee canceled the budget meeting, usurping the prerogative of City Council President Rayland Van Blake.

But six of seven council members showed up that night anyway and had to meet in a tiny room on the second floor with barely enough room for two citizens to sit in corners.

On Tuesday (Oct. 17, 2006) the tables were turned.

A Board of Adjustment meeting scheduled since January ended up being held on the second floor landing of City Hall and the council held a budget meeting in City Hall Library.

Only two citizens attended the budget meeting, but many more sat on folding chairs and the rotunda steps to follow the Board of Adjustment testimony.

The Zoning Board members sat at folding tables on the landing and presenters had to face them while trying not to fall down the stairs behind them.

Whatever the turfiness involved, would it not have been more gracious to let the Zoning Board applicants and their highly paid experts have the library? The five council members who showed up and the two citizens and the several staffers giving budget testimony barely filled the library.

It came down to the council’s ultimate right to the library, despite the Zoning Board’s stake-out way before the budget talks were set.

Who’s the winner?

--Bernice Paglia


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