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Council passes Grandview Yard deal
Posted on Tuesday, August 04 @ 14:00:03 EDT by Admin

News from the small city Justice writes "

The city completed the negotiations in a week long push and immediately brought the deal to a vote at the council meeting last night (Aug 3). No mention was made of offering the residents of the city a chance to read through the stack of paperwork (unless you attended the meeting and were a fast reader).

Undoubtedly the negotiations were complex, and the average resident would have little understanding of all the technical jargon. The trade offs and negotiating positions might be above the comprehension of the average joe, and understanding this stuff was the job that the council members were given when they were voted into office. Still, this was a historical moment in the story of the city. Too bad we residents had no part in the back-slapping and faux Champagne toasts that the council members shared with the NRI lawyers.

The vote was not unanimous. Council member Gladman had questions about the income tax revenue that was to be used in the project, and expressed doubt that the council had done all that they could have to limit the use of those taxes. He gave the only no vote on the ordinance.

Because of the long term (up to 50 years) projections on the completion of all parts of the project and the funding deal, we may not know if the deal will be to the long term advantage to the city for many years – long after the Mayor and the present council members are gone.

Cross your fingers – and keep them crossed for the next half century.

Kids in the schools

One unresolved issue was the possibility of large numbers of housing units, and the resulting overcrowding of the schools. The deal included stepped increases in taxes going to the schools as the number of units built are increased, supposedly paying for any new facilities that would be needed. Who knows if this will be true.

According to council member V.J. there is little chance there could be large number of middle income, high children per family units built because of the cost of the land. But no hard limit on the number of units is part of the deal.

Columbus city deals

Also unresolved is the negotiating with the city of Columbus over the parts of the project that are outside Grandview. The statement from one of the council members about this was interesting – he thought there was no reason to come to any completion on these negotiations, because a new Mayor of Columbus might have a different stance on the issues of lost jobs and income taxes. I don't know if this is common wisdom among the NRI big shots, but if they think that Coleman will not be able to get re-elected they either have some inside information, or are betting that discontent with the Mayor will be increasing.

Chickens abandoned

And now something completely different. Council member Koelker withdrew her sponsorship of the chickens in back yard ordinance, bringing one of the most contentious issues the city has considered in past years to a whimpering end. The supporters of the chickens coops had some blame for the aborted issue, they didn't do the kind of public advocation of the issue that could have brought success. A Grandview chicken supporters website and holding meetings would have brought more debate and firmed up rules that could have a better chance of passage.

(later) I didn't get any word on retrying the ordinance from Koelker when I asked her about it prior to the council meeting, and I didn't stick around to hear the discussion, but the TWG said the ordinance might be brought back later. Unless the chicken supporters start working harder I don't see this going anywhere.


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