[UPDATE:] According to Chapel Hill News reporter Jesse D. the Council finally agreed to Laurin’s request. Staff will research and report back on the options this Fall, approximately 18 months after her first request.
Quick note from this evening’s Council meeting. Council member Laurin Easthom renewed her reasonable request (reviewed here [THE LIBRARY AND THE FREE LUNCH]) for additional fiscal analysis of the recently approved Library expansion.
Her original April 2009 request to the staff and Town Manager for a range of specific funding scenarios to manage both the transitional and additional operational cost of the Library expansion has been rebuffed successfully over the last year.
Why the delay?
Possible political embarrassment to some of the Council folks who pressed for expansion in-spite of foreseeable negative consequences. A real analysis would reveal the weakness of the current estimates for these costs.
Tonight’s problem, though, is that Laurin is well within her rights as a sitting member of the Council to request staff input and that foot-dragging is not acceptable. Rather than strengthening her call for informed decision making, some of her colleagues have tacitly participated in this delay.
Tonight her re-request for this information spawned a half-hour of meandering Council commentary.
Instead of a clear directive to staff to produce the report, Mayor Kleinschmidt punted the issue to later this evening. Mark, rather than reaffirming his colleagues simple, reasonable request, dispatching it quickly, instead, muttering several times that “folks are waiting” and “we’ll discuss this after 12:30”, pushed it to the Council meeting dead zone.
Anyone that still buys the myth former Mayor Foy touted of a Council grounded in collegiality should take heed how the tactics of the imperial mayoral-ship he fostered impedes respectful dissent even within the Council itself and harms a transparent, reality-based approach to decision-making.