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
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.
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.