Update on rezone battle:
My presumed victory and end point of last week was swept away when the Four Horsemen (Councilmen) of the Shopalypse showed up this week to rescind last week’s decision. The word got out this was about to happen and I was encouraged by the public outcry in the press and a capacity crowd at the Council meeting. The last time that happened was clear back at the beginning of the process, four years ago. About 15 people gave very articulate, impassioned shame-on-you speeches—the gist of which was, “You’ve already spent a ¼ of a million dollars of our money for the benefit of one property owner’s attempt at a rezone which almost nobody wants and the City certainly does not need. STOP!” But, of course, these guys have no shame. They went into executive session for an hour, so the public could not hear what they were saying, came out and voted to rescind on the grounds that the importance of the issue demanded a Council decision, not a tie-breaker by the Mayor. Also, they needed “more information on the cost of continuing,” putting a vote off until next week when I’m sure they are hoping the crowd does not reappear. The property owner was there– an enormous guy, dressed all in black, down to his cowboy boots– but he never said a word. It seemed rather Godfather-ish, as if he were only there to make sure his minions towed the line. On the other hand, I can see why he didn’t speak—most of the people there didn’t know who he was and he was definitely in an unfriendly crowd. The back story on this whole thing is the stuff of novels where it all seems too outrageous to be true. As you can see, Tuesday morning was lovely, but it turned to rain by the time of the Council meeting. Stay tuned, it ain’t over.