Video of the Columbus Common Council
Video of the Committee of the Whole (COW)
I don't want to dwell on the workings and thought process of the council because all I know about are MY personal feelings but I do want to clear up some misconception's. The one thing I have seen in the last few years is that no one knows the back story on why things happen the way they do in council which in turn sparks wild speculation and wrong assumptions and I want to make things clearer.
It has also come to my attention that the developer of the Commerce Center has been calling people telling them that the council does not want new development and spreading other rumors when perhaps he does not know all the facts. That's fine, its a free country and he can do what he wants but he is 100% wrong.
The whole controversy of approving the agenda at the beginning the Common Council could have been avoided. At the last council there was a request to have item 6 concerning the Conditional Use Permit put on the agenda for the COW. This would have given the new members of the council more time to wrap their head around the intricacies of this request. What get's approved for the Commerce Center effects the entire city, not just that one area. We could have asked questions and had more time to try to understand all that was going down. One weekend is not enough time to be thrown into the fire with all the issues we were looking at.
This request was ignored because I assume they wanted to rush it through and thus a measure was taken to give us more time.
I can totally understand that the developer wants to put shovels in the ground, he's doing his job. That area needs a commercial anchor. But as a council member I personally have a responsibility to the people of Columbus and I don't want to be rushed into making a decision before I'm ready. That is MY job.
As you can see by the very first vote of the new council we are NOT a team and that is good! I don't want to be on a team. The Council should NEVER have a team.
There are many things that sometimes people do not understand when it comes to politics and rules.
For instance, at the School Board meeting concerning the purchase of that house near the grade school. A question was asked "Have any of you even gone and looked at the house, raise your hand". And not one person raised their hand.
To a normal citizen (like me) I was shocked. But then I learned that they are not allowed to respond and ALL of then had toured the house.
Just like that first council vote. There was a real reason for wanting to put off voting, NOT because the council was anti business but because the new members needed more time to gain knowledge. Should we just blindly vote without really knowing all the ramifications of what happens down the road? Is that what the citizens of Columbus want? I would hope not.
My personal opinion