The Carbondale Observer

News and commentary about Carbondale, Illinois and SIUC

Posts Tagged ‘CCTB

City Council Meeting 05/21/2013

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I listened to the live stream of the May 25, 2013 city council meeting. It was one of the shortest meetings I can recall, running just one hour and thirty-eight minutes, excluding the closed session. Not much of note happened, but a brief summary and comments are below. The agenda is available on the city’s website.

Before the meeting got started, Mayor Joel Fritzler announced that citizen comments and questions would be moved to the beginning of the meeting, becoming Item 3 on the agenda. That move resulted in the numbers of other agenda items being changed. There were no citizen comments and questions.

Council then turned to the consent agenda. Council member Jane Adams requested that Item 5.5 (formerly 4.5) be pulled for discussion, and council member Don Monty requested that item 5.8 (formerly 4.8) be pulled for discussion. The remainder of the consent agenda passed unanimously.

Council then discussed Item 5.5 (formerly 4.5), appointments to boards and commissions. Council member Adams was concerned with the appointment of former council member Chris Wissmann to the Carbondale Convention and Tourism Bureau (CCTB) board of directors. Adams suggested that a sitting city council member should be appointed to that seat, since no council member currently sits on the CCTB board.

In perfect Carbondale city council style, the council proceeded to discuss a relatively simple issue for an unnecessarily long time. The final result was that the Wissmann appointment was pulled from Item 5.5 and, at a future meeting,  council will consider making a policy requiring the appointment one sitting council member to the CCTB board. The remaining board appointments in Item 5.5 passed unanimously.

Council then discussed Item 5.8 (formerly 4.8), a set of technical corrections to city code. Council member Don Monty pulled the item from the consent agenda because he was concerned that members of the public might not understand what changes council was making to city code. Members of the public can, of course, see the agenda item and the proposed changes online, which makes pulling it from the consent agenda unnecessary.

In the case of Item 5.8, the technical changes involved changing references to Title 15 of the city code. Title 15, the portion of the code dealing with zoning, recently changed. That means that references to Title 15 found elsewhere in the code might not have referred to the current Title 15. Item 5.8 updated all references to Title 15 in the code. It passed unanimously.

Council then turned to the general business agenda. Item 6.1 (formerly 5.1) was a city request to rezone the old high school practice fields on Oakland Avenue back to single family residential. The property in question had been zoned for single family residential use since 1974, even when it was in use by the high school.

In 2010, the property was zoned to PUD (Planned Unit Development) to permit the development of an assisted living facility. The developer was required to submit a final site plan within 12 months of the rezoning. No final site plan was ever submitted, the state funding that was crucial to the project never materialized, and the developer decided not to pursue the project. As a result, city staff requested that the property be returned to its former zoning. Item 6.1 passed unanimously.

The rezoning will come as a relief to residents in the vicinity, many of whom opposed the proposed development. The Northwest Carbondale Neighborhood Association (NCNA) also opposed the development, and its members and supporters will also be relieved to learn that the property has been returned to its former zoning.

Council then considered Item 6.2 (formerly 5.2), which was a discussion of official city council order. This item was the result of a set of perceived slights by Mayor Joel Fritzler to council member Lance Jack. The official order was also the subject of some discussion at the May 7 council meeting.

I’m not going to summarize the entire dispute or the discussion. The result was that council approved a resolution asking staff to draft an ordinance setting order of signature on city resolutions and commendations to alphabetical order by last name. Council member Lance Jack voted against the resolution; all other council members voted in favor.

I didn’t have strong feelings about how the order should be conducted, but I do prefer that roll calls use the same order every time. I keep track of the votes and it would be easier to do if the names were called in the same order at every meeting.

There is one other item worth noting. Mayor Fritzler’s decision in 2011 to unilaterally move citizen comments and questions to the end of the agenda was controversial when it was announced. A few people spoke in opposition to that decision and I criticized it on the blog. At the end of the meeting, the mayor announced that citizen comments and questions will be permanently moved back to the beginning of the meetings. The likely result is more citizen comments and questions.

After council comments, the city council went into closed session at 8:38.

Comments are welcome.

City Council Meeting 08/21/2012

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The Carbondale City Council met at the city hall/civic center at 7:00 p.m. on August 21, 2012. As usual, I watched from home on Mediacom channel 16. A summary and brief comments follow.

After roll call and announcements and proclamations, council passed most of the consent agenda unanimously. Council member Lee Fronabarger requested that Item 4.4 (pdf), which conditionally awarded contracts for the new water storage facility, be pulled from the agenda so he could highlight the fact that a local contractor won the bidding for the water main extension. Council then passed the item unanimously.

Council member Corene McDaniel asked that Item 4.5 (pdf), which authorized the city manager to sell a small piece of surplus property, be pulled so she could reveal that the purchaser is her sister-in-law and that she would not vote on the item. Council then passed the item unanimously (with the exception of McDaniel, who voted present). Council then moved on to the general business agenda.

Item 5.1 (pdf), a resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute a contract with the Carbondale Convention and Tourism Bureau (CCTB) passed unanimously after some discussion by council. Council member Jane Adams stated her preference that CCTB be contractually obligated to follow the same open meetings and ethics standards that the city council must follow, and strongly urged that the city take ownership of the web domain CCTB uses. Mayor Joel Fritzler countered that the city doesn’t own the domain names of any of the other organizations to which it provides funding.

Council member Lee Fronabarger suggested that CCTB change its name to the Carbondale Visitors Bureau, a suggestion which council member Adams has supported in the past. Council member Chris Wissmann said a name change would be a good idea, but said that name changes are expensive and pointed to the existing stationary and the awning on the CCTB building as items that would need to be replaced in the event of a name change. Mayor Fritzler also argued against a name change.

My two cents: Adams and Fronabarger are right on the name change issue. The CCTB name is toxic. If we’re starting over, then let’s make it a clean start. Adams is also right that the city should own the domain names CCTB uses. Fritzler’s point about the city not owning, say, the Women’s Center’s domain name is irrelevant. The city provides almost the entire CCTB budget (at least it has in the past; this year is an exception), while the city provides only a small portion of the budgets of other community organizations.

Item 5.2 (pdf), an ordinance legalizing video “gaming” (gambling) in Carbondale, passed 5-2, with Mayor Fritzler and council member McDaniel voting against the ordinance. This ordinance will allow Carbondale liquor license holders to participate in the state’s new video gambling system, provided they operate according to state guidelines.

Before the vote on the ordinance, council member Chris Wissmann proposed an amendment to require establishments to post a sign designed and provided by the city providing information on where problem gamblers can get help. Wissmann’s amendment passed 6-2, with only council member Corene McDaniel opposed. Several members of the Carbondale Elks were in attendance and spoke in favor of the ordinance and the audience erupted with applause when it passed.

My thoughts: I find it annoying that the gambling industry has rebranded gambling as “gaming.” Tetris is gaming. Video poker played for real money is gambling. That said, I support legal gambling. I think we should regulate “vices” rather than prohibit them. Conduct by consenting adults that does not harm nonconsenting others should not be prohibited, even if it harms people who willingly participate in the conduct. We should instead use regulation to achieve harm reduction.

Item 5.3 (pdf), an ordinance amending the Carbondale Revised Code as it relates to water and sewer fees and agreements, finally passed unanimously after approval of one amendment. This item has been before council several times and each time has been sent back to staff for changes. This time, council member Jane Adams proposed an amendment changing the length of time a water customer must wait for the refund of his or her water to five years from the eight proposed by staff. The amendment passed 6-1, with only Mayor Fritzler opposed.

The ordinance increased the reconnect fee for people whose water has been shut off for delinquency to $40 from $20. It also increased the waiting period for a deposit refund to 5 years from 2 (staff had proposed 8 years, but Adams’ amendment reduced this). Service deposits may now be transferred to a new address, provided the customer meets certain requirements. These all seem like good changes.

Item 5.4 (pdf), a resolution concerning the feasibility study for the proposed downtown TIF and related matters, passed unanimously (aside from Lance Jack, who abstained) and with no comment from council. City Manager Baity did mention an important discovery the city has made during study of this TIF district. It turns out that no city council member can own property or a business within a TIF district, and no council member can buy property within a TIF district.

This means that the building housing Fat Patties, the restaurant owned by council member Lance Jack, will have to be carved out of the TIF district – Baity compared it to a doughnut hole. Even though that business will not be included in the TIF district, the law still prohibits Jack from voting on TIF matters. Jack abstained from this vote and announced that he will abstain from all future votes on this TIF district.

This is a state requirement and the city isn’t responsible for these restrictions, but they seem a little too strict. To me, it would be sufficient to carve out property or businesses owned by council members and then allow those members to vote on the TIF district that excludes their property. I suppose with the long history of corruption in Illinois, the legislature felt that additional protections were necessary.

I’ve written about the proposed downtown TIF twice before (one, two) and I’ve been working (very slowly) on two posts about what a downtown should and should not look like (yes, I know they’re late). My stance on the TIF hasn’t changed, so I’ll quote myself:

I need to see more before I can decide whether I support a downtown TIF. Specifically, I’ll need to see design standards for new buildings and the incorporation of mixed uses before I can support this idea. If we’re going to bulldoze Illinois Avenue and build a series of single-story, single-use strip malls with parking lots between the buildings and the street, then I’m against the plan. If we’re going to build two, three, or four story mixed use buildings with commercial uses on the ground floor and apartments or offices on upper floors and with parking in garages or behind buildings, then I’m enthusiastically in favor of a downtown TIF.

I’ll add to that that if it were up to me, we’d expand the district just slightly so it would include the parcels adjoining University Avenue on the west side of the street. The current map only includes properties on the east side of University, with the exception of a few parcels between Main and Walnut. That’s a personal preference and a minor item, though, and it wouldn’t stop me from supporting a downtown TIF. Plans to replace downtown with the kind of strip mall sprawl developments we see on the east and west sides of town would be a deal breaker for me and should be for the council as well.

After citizens comments and questions and council comments, the council meeting adjourned at 9:21 p.m.

Comments are welcome.

Special City Council Meeting 07/31/2012

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The Carbondale City Council held a special meeting on Tuesday, July 31 at 7:00 p.m. at the city hall/civic center to discuss options for promoting tourism. After two hours of discussion, council came to a consensus that the City Manager should move forward with reconstituting the Carbondale Convention and Tourism Bureau (CCTB) and contracting with the Southernmost Illinois tourism bureau  another tourism bureau to provide tourism services for the next few months.

To get an understanding of council’s options, three posts on the Carbondaze Gazette blog (one, two, three) are recommended reading. I generally agree with the ideas council member Jane Adams has advocated in her blog (see here ). I think council should reconstitute CCTB with a completely new board and with additional oversight provisions, as Adams suggests. The new board should rename the organizations and make changes to its bylaws if necessary. Adams suggests “Carbondale Visitor’s Bureau” as a new name, and I like that.

I also agree with council member Chris Wissmann that Carbondale should contract with Southernmost Tourism Bureau for some services. I don’t agree that we should make Southernmost our state certified tourism bureau, but we should direct a small portion of our local funds to Southernmost so Carbondale is represented on their website and in their printed material.

The bulk of our tourism budget should go to a local entity. That organization should have a welcome center in a prominent location and should have a first rate website that is continuously updated. The new CCTB should work with stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industries to promote Carbondale as effectively as possible.

During council comments at the end of the meeting, council member Adams made an important announcement. The zoning overhaul that has been underway for several months is nearing completion and proposed changes will soon be released to the public. This is tremendously important for Carbondale’s future and I really hope the changes are positive. I’ve often argued that our zoning laws cause poor outcomes. Zoning is important, and an overhaul and modernization is long overdue.

Comments are welcome.

UPDATE: a reader alerted me that the city council hadn’t decided which tourism bureau will receive a contract for short term tourism services.

City Council Meeting 07/17/2012

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The Carbondale City Council met at the city hall/civic center at 7:00 p.m. on July 17, 2012. As usual, I watched from home on Mediacom channel 16. A summary and brief commentary are below.

After roll call, announcements and proclamations, and public hearings and special reports, council approved the consent agenda unanimously. Council then moved on to the general business agenda.

Item 5.1, an ordinance bringing Carbondale’s sewer regulations into compliance with state law, passed unanimously.

Items 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, and 5.5 were all removed from the agenda.

Item 5.2, establishing policy for release of city liens for properties sold through tax sales, was removed because the policy had already been established in 2009.

Item 5.3, amending city code concerning water and sewer fees, and item 5.4, amending city code concerning parking fines and fees, were pulled from the agenda because more work was necessary before the items could proceed.

Item 5.5, authorizing the city manager to request volume cap allocation for private activity bonds from the Governor’s Office, was removed because the city manager learned the process for allocating those grants has changed.

Item 5.6 was an open discussion of options for tourism promotion for the City of Carbondale. Staff had laid out three options for council to consider: (1) reconstitute the Carbondale Convention and Tourism Bureau (CCTB) with a new board, staff, and a new name, (2)  form an in-house tourism bureau, or (3) contract for tourism promotion services with either ILLINOISouth or Southernmost Illinois Tourism Bureau.

Council heard presentations from representatives of  ILLINOISouth, which covers nineteen Illinois counties (including Perry County, our neighbor to the north), and the Southernmost Illinois Tourism Bureau, which covers the southern seven counties in Illinois and will likely soon cover Jackson County.

Council then discussed the options available. It seemed to me that there was a consensus to both revive CCTB and to simultaneously work with either ILLINOISouth, Southernmost Illinois Tourism Bureau, or both. A majority of the council seemed persuaded by the need to maintain local control and the availability of matching funds from the state to a reformed CCTB.

Before the meeting, I was wary of the idea of resurrecting CCTB. As the meeting went on, I slowly changed my mind and came to the same conclusion a majority of the council seemed to reach. Carbondale risks losing around $60,000 in state money if we let CCTB die. If we resurrect CCTB, we can keep the state money and contract specific services with the other two tourism bureaus, both of which seemed to offer valuable services.

Council declined to take formal action at tonight’s meeting and instead instructed the City Manager to gather additional information. Council plans to hold a special meeting later this month to vote on a path forward.

One interesting item came up during Citizen’s Comments and Questions. The Saluki Express has stopped bus service to John A. Logan College and two students came to the meeting to ask council either to fund a route to Logan or to help them identify options to keep mass transit service to Logan. Council members offered some advice on who to contact but, aside from council member Lance Jack, there didn’t seem to be much interest in getting involved in improving Saluki Express.

I think that’s a mistake. Bus service seems to me like a good use of funds. As council member Jack pointed out, there are many people who would use the bus if the service was better. There are more people who currently use the bus but who would use it more often if the service was better.

Saluki Express is mostly an SIUC service but, if I’m not mistaken, Carbondale provides some money to pay for a route that runs when school is not in session. Additional funding, perhaps paid for by an increase in the gasoline tax, could improve service. It’s worth considering.

Comments are welcome.

City Council Meeting 05/01/2012

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As usual, I watched the May 1, 2012 Carbondale city council meeting from home on Mediacom channel 16. The agenda is available on the city’s website. A summary and brief commentary follow.

The consent agenda passed unanimously and no one pulled any of the individual items for discussion. Council then moved on to general business.

Item 5.1, establishing a Health Insurance Reimbursement Fund, passed unanimously. This was an internal accounting change, and it isn’t expected to change the city’s total budget.

Item 5.2 , a resolution authorizing the city manager to execute a contract for the purchase of property from the Canadian National railway, also passed unanimously. The land runs along the railroad tracks and contains two parcels between the tracks and Washington St. (east side of the tracks) and a third parcel between the tracks and Illinois Ave. (west side of the tracks).

The property will be used to construct a pedestrian and bicycle path from the SIUC campus to the town square, with funds coming from the Saluki Way tax. It’s a feel good project (green space, trails, etc.) but I’m not wild about it. It will be nice to have an area dedicated to biking, since there are no bike lanes on the street, but I don’t think it will be a very hospitable place for pedestrians. Of course, we already have a pedestrian path from campus to the town square: the public sidewalks. But that’s another post.

Item 5.3, declaring fair days for the Sunset Concert series, passed 6-1, with council member Corene McDaniel opposed. McDaniel does not believe the city should allow public consumption of alcohol in the public parks and votes against the fair days declaration every year.

Item 5.4, providing funding for community organizations, was the controversial item. Specifically, item 5.4.7, which would have authorized the city manager to execute a contract with the Carbondale Convention and Tourism Bureau (CCTB), has been an ongoing source of controversy.

Item 5.4.1, providing funds to nine organizations, passed with six affirmative votes. Council member Corene McDaniel voted “present” after raising the objection that the constraints in the city’s proposed contract with CCTB were not included in the contracts for the nine organizations funded by item 5.4.1.

Items 5.4.2 through 5.4.6 reallocated the $50,000 the council cut from the CCTB budget earlier in the year to five separate organizations. All five items passed 6-1, with council member Corene McDaniel casting the dissenting vote on each item.

Item 5.4.7 would have authorized the city manager to execute a contract with CCTB for tourism services. Council member Wissmann moved that council not approve the item, which meant declining to fund CCTB, and instead direct city staff to prepare requests for proposals to provide tourism services to the city. A discussion followed.

Council members Monty and Fronabarger both said they had received more calls and emails about this item than about any since they joined council. In Monty’s case, all the contacts expressed a negative view of CCTB, and Fronabarger said 99% of the comments he received were negative. McDaniel argued that people who are displeased take the time to call or write, while people who are satisfied don’t bother.

The resolution authorizing the city manager to execute a contract with CCTB was defeated 6-1, again with McDaniel casting the dissenting vote. City Manager Kevin Baity then pointed out that CCTB would have been required to fund the Lights Fantastic parade and the Lion’s Club Fourth of July fireworks show and asked for direction. Council directed him to fund those activities directly.

I’m going to keep my comments brief. I think the council did the right thing by declining to fund CCTB. Other organizations are available to provide the services the city has previously paid CCTB to provide. Since the city provided such a large portion of CCTB’s funds, it seems unlikely that the organization can survive.

I will say one other thing. I thought tonight’s meeting went really well and the entire council, Mayor Fritzler, and City Manager Baity deserve credit. The meeting did not get out of control or out of order, as was common last year. Mayor Fritzler has gotten better at running meetings since he took office.

And the council was able to have a substantive discussion and then take action without letting the meeting go all night. Every member of the council was informed and engaged. I was impressed with the way council conducted its business.

City Manager Kevin Baity also deserves credit. When council declined to fund CCTB, Baity immediately reminded council of the Lights Fantastic parade and Fourth of July fireworks funding included in the CCTB package. He was able to explain the item establishing the health insurance fund in language a lay person could understand.

Comments are welcome.

More CCTB Revelations

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I read Geoffrey Ritter’s article on the Carbondale Convention and Tourism Bureau (CCTB) in Wednesday’s Carbondale Times. It’s not online yet, so you’ll have to pick up a copy of the paper to read it. I’ll give you a very brief summary, but you should definitely read the entire article.

Ritter has written in the past (here and here) about nepotism at CCTB. In this week’s article, Ritter reveals that the nepotism might have put CCTB and its director in violation of the state’s conflict-of-interest policy. The problem centers around Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (IDCEO) grants. CCTB has received several of these grants in the past eight years and some of the funds were used to employ the CCTB director’s daughter.

IDCEO requires grant applicants to provide notice in writing of possible conflicts of interest, which appears to include providing financial gains to a grantee’s family member. The Times filed a freedom of information request with IDCEO seeking “any and all written conflict-of-interest disclosures” submitted by CCTB, but IDCEO did not provide any disclosures in its response. If no disclosures were filed, that could be a violation of the conflict-of-interest policy, which carries some pretty severe penalties.

As I read the article, I was aware that the city council is planning to act on funding for community organizations at the Tuesday, May 1 meeting. I’ve written before that I think the city needs to bring CCTB under control. The May 1 meeting is the time to take action.

As I see it, there are two possible courses. The first would be to insist on a clause in the city’s contract with CCTB giving the city representation on the board proportional to the portion of the CCTB budget provided by the city. If the city provided 70% of the CCTB budget, the city would appoint 70% of voting board members. We would then need to rely on the mayor to appoint board members who will exercise oversight over CCTB and ideally make some personnel changes in the organization.

The second option would be to simply withdraw city funds from CCTB. The recent decision by the CCTB board to nearly double its membership, thus diluting the voting strength of the city’s appointees to the board, suggests intransigence at the agency. Even if the city’s board strength can be restored through the contract, CCTB might simply find another way to evade city oversight and control. Maybe it’s time to stop funding CCTB.

We should not consider inaction an option. The money the city gives to CCTB belongs to the people of Carbondale. Public money should be used for public purposes and under public control. Allowing the recent CCTB board expansion to stand is not acceptable. Nepotism, or the appearance of nepotism, is not acceptable.

The city council needs to know what you think. The people who support the status quo will call council members and they’ll show up to defend CCTB. If you think the agency needs to be accountable to the public, it would be a good idea to take a moment and call or e-mail the mayor and city council. You can click here to find their contact information on the city’s website.

Comments are welcome.

Written by The Carbondale Observer

April 26, 2012 at 7:45 am

City Council Meeting 04/03/2012

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I watched last night’s city council meeting from home on Mediacom channel 16. This is the third meeting in a row with a short agenda. This time there were two items on the general business agenda: consideration of an ordinance establishing a fine for camping on city property and a discussion of the FY 13 budget and the Five Year Community Investment Program. There were also five items on the consent agenda, all of which were approved unanimously.

Item 5.1 on the general business agenda would have established a fine for camping or lodging on city controlled property. You could call it the Occupy Ordinance, as it is undoubtedly aimed at preventing members of the Occupy movement from establishing an encampment on city property. When the ordinance came up, it seemed for a moment that it might not get a motion to approve it. Finally council member Lee Fronabarger made the motion and then there was another longish silence while council waited for a second, ultimately provided by council member Corene McDaniel.

After the motion received a second, discussion opened. It quickly became apparent that council had problems with the ordinance as written. Council member Don Monty asked why the city needs such an ordinance and asked for a plain-English explanation of the term “city controlled” property. The City Attorney explained that city controlled property is property owned or leased by the city and property turned over to city control by its owner. The City Manager said the ordinance is needed because camping on city property is not currently illegal and there is concern that someone might decide to camp on city property.

Council member Chris Wissmann expressed concern that the ordinance might solve a problem that doesn’t yet exist and pointed out that attempts to expel Occupy protesters in New York sparked similar protests in cities around the country. Wissmann also expressed concern that the city protect legitimate rights of political speech and the right to protest.

Council member Jane Adams asked if the ordinance would prohibit camping in the city-owned land surrounding Cedar Lake. Adams also expressed concern that the ordinance as written could limit free speech and expression.

Mayor Joel Fritzler defended the ordinance, saying it is intended to prevent people from taking over public space that is meant tor everyone. After council members Lee Fronabarger and Lance Jack expressed concerns about the ordinance, it was tabled and sent back to staff for a rewrite.

I think the council did the right thing in delaying the ordinance. I agree with the Occupy movement that income inequality is a major problem in this country, and I think public policy can and should blunt inequality. But I find it difficult to see how camping on the town square helps address the situation. The delay and rewrite allows council to avoid accidentally including Cedar Lake in the ordinance and could allow a process for issuing permits for temporary encampments on public property.

The other item on the general business agenda was a discussion of the FY 13 budget and the Five Year Community Investment Program. This was just a discussion; no action was taken. The discussion was shorter than in previous years because council members had submitted written questions to staff in advance and staff had provided written answers.

Mayor Fritzler pointed out that the city will again hire a person to operate the street sweeper. Fritzler also pointed out that the city’s emergency management staff will be moving from city hall to the new fire station on the west side of town. Fritzler said the move would be an improvement because it would allow emergency management staff to remain at their posts if a train derailed and spilled toxic substances, causing city hall to evacuate.

Council member Chris Wissmann pointed out the growth in employee health care, pension, and worker’s compensation costs – and that these costs are mostly out of the city’s control. Council member Jane Adams offered a reminder that the Saluki Way tax was supposed to contain funds for green space development and urged that funds be directed to that purpose as soon as possible. Council member Don Monty urged the public to take a look at the Community Investment Program and the long list of projects that the city would like to do but lacks funding for.

The Carbondale Convention and Tourism Bureau did come up a few times at the meeting. Two citizens commented on the ongoing controversy and urged action. Council remained mostly silent, as expected, but council member Don Monty did make two brief comments.

In his first comment, Monty said that the CCTB bylaws allow the CCTB board to appoint its own members and that 15 members was a minimum for the board, not a maximum. Monty also said that when he’s been appointed to boards and commissions, he’s felt that his duty is to act in the best interests of that organization, not his own best interests or those of the organization that appointed him.

In his second comment, Monty mentioned that the city’s contract with CCTB will be different this time, and that CCTB will have to decide if it can live with the new contract. He did not specify what changes might appear in this year’s contract.

My own opinion is that it has become necessary for council to rein in CCTB. An organization that is dependent on city money should have to serve the city’s needs and be subject to city control. At a minimum, I think the city should continue to appoint a majority of the board. Ideally, our board strength should be proportionate to the share of the organization’s budget that comes from the city. If we fund sixty, seventy, or eighty percent, we should control that portion of the board seats. We’ll see what solution council comes up with.

Comments are welcome.

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