The Carbondale Observer

News and commentary about Carbondale, Illinois and SIUC

City Council Meeting January 17, 2012

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I watched last night’s city council meeting from home on channel 16. It was quite long and the council only took action on two general business items. I’m short on time so I’m going to write a very short summary.

After approving the consent agenda, the council voted unanimously to participate in the Coal Belt Revolving Loan Program (pdf). This seems like a good program and I can’t see any reason not to participate.

Next the council reviewed the Community Investment Program checklist items for proposed new projects. You can see the agenda item here (pdf). Council did not object to any item staff recommended and no action was taken.

Next council conducted a review of community goals. This is done annually and was the best part of the meeting. The best suggestion came from Jane Adams – that the city prioritize streaming city council meetings on the web. I really hope they do this because I’d probably cancel Mediacom if they do. Don Monty also had a good suggestion – that the city put drafts of city council meetings online before the agendas are finalized. His reasoning was that it would allow concerned parties more time to meet and plan to address council. Check out the agenda item here (pdf).

The final item on the general business agenda was a request for a special use permit to operate a Day Care Home II (6-12 children) in a residential neighborhood. Council rejected this. Normally I’d be complaining about this, since a day care is a great use in a residential neighborhood, but it seems like there are some legitimate concerns with this particular home and the “no” vote wasn’t a general rejection of any day care centers in residential neighborhoods. Of course the neighbors all turned out to argue against the home – typical for Carbondale.

After citizen comments and council comments, the council went into closed session. I’m not totally sure what they were planning to discuss and I’m not sure if council re-convened in open session afterwards.

After spending three and a half hours watching one of these tedious meetings – even on TV in the comfort of my own home – I think council members deserve more than the $4,200 per year they are paid.

Comments are welcome.

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Written by The Carbondale Observer

January 18, 2012 at 7:45 am

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