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Best and Worst of 2013 - Part 2 (The Commissions)

Dr. Jim Gardner
Dr. Jim Gardner

Yesterday we looked at the “Best and Worst” Council moments. Today we’ll explore the Commissions and Committees.

 

BEST COMMISSION/COMMITTEE

PARADE COMMITTEE – Did another wonderful job this year, and some people say, the “best” ever.


WORST COMMISSION/COMMITTEE

PLANNING – They had more appeals and overturned decisions in 2013 than in all 20 previous years combined. Plus at every turn their newest members (Hamilton and Fuentes) keep insisting that they should do less work.

DISHONORABLE MENTION - PARKS AND RECREATION – They took 8 months to look for a location for a dog park and came up empty handed, then spent 5 months trying to come up with a plan for the Village Pond Park and came up empty again. They did manage to put on an excellent recreation program, saving them from getting the nod as “Worst”.

 

BEST COMMISSIONER

TIM HUGHES – After years of distinguished and valuable service, he stepped down and didn’t hesitate to make public the internal problems on the Commission.

HONORABLE MENTION - JERRY VERPLANKE – The only remaining experienced member of the Planning Commission, time and time again he’s put the interests of the public above the interests of businesses.

 

WORST COMMISSIONER

JOLENE FUENTES - She missed two of her first three meetings, then recently announced that she would do no "planning" on the "Planning" Commission because she was told that as a Commissioner she could only do what the Council told her to do.

DISHONORABLE MENTION - ANDREW HAMILTON - In his first appearance on the Planning Commission sympathized with a developer and said he didn't want the developer to have to do more work, for which he was admonished by Chairman Tim Hughes for not protecting the interests of the community. Later, when asked to do some planning, he insisted that the Planning Commission could only review their “working papers” every two years when they met with the Council for instructions.

 

BEST COMMISSION MOMENT OF THE YEAR

PLANNING COMMISSION – Taking a stand and refusing to allow any more stores selling take-away alcohol in tracts that are 200% and 300% over-saturated, in a City that already has one of the highest arrest rates for DUI driving. These votes were even more remarkable coming from a group that tends to allow any business to do just about anything.

 

WORST COMMISSION MOMENT OF THE YEAR

PARKS AND RECREATION – Inappropriately labeling an agenda item as a workshop (when it was a report), and failing to provide advance copies of a report intended to go to Council, they approved a pathetic plan which breached the terms of the contract between the City and the consultant, and illegally sent it on to the Council.


FUNNIEST COMMISSION MOMENT OF THE YEAR

PLANNING COMMISSION – The assistant city attorney, during a lengthy commission meeting, was asked a question; he somehow managed to work in the result of that night’s World Series game, spoiling it for those in the audience who were taping it.

 

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A PERSON NOT SELECTED TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION

TERRY ANDERSON -  It took a lot of courage for Terry to apply when he knew that Voigts and his gang would not select him because Voigts feared he would run against him in 2014. But Terry’s showed he was fully up to the task.

HONORABLE MENTION - TOM CAGLEY –  Tom’s answers to the questions posed by the Council were extremely impressive.

 

WORST PERFORMANCE BY A PERSON SELECTED TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION

JOLENE FUENTES – However nice a person she may seem, Jolene showed that she had absolutely no credentials for being selected for a seat on the Planning Commission.

DISHONORABLE MENTION - C.J. BROWER – Running for Planning Commission, and waiting for his turn to interview, Brower posted on Facebook that he counted three of the council members his friends “So why am I worried,” he posted.

 

Tomorrow we give out the City Employee awards.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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