Long Meeting

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The City Commission meeting last night lasted for hours; I tuned in and out on Channel 7 a few times. The opposition to the proposal to allow gambling at Elmer’s was notable, drawing a large crowd, and several of the folks who spoke against the proposal got pretty heated.The pool issue was defended by Tim Austin, who is very vocal in his support of neighborhood pools (you can sound off here). Later on, when one-time mayoral candidate Stuart Lewin began asking questions about the city budget, it just got weird. I’m still not sure what, precisely, Mr Lewin was trying to find out; does he think that City Manager John Lawton is unlawfully shuffling money between different types of funds? Or does he suspect the Comptroller is pulling the financial wool over the eyes of the Commission and the City? I don’t know…but he was persistent in his questioning. And a few minutes later, I noticed that Mayor Stebbins had to ask that someone be removed from the meeting, but I didn’t see who it was. Quite an interesting meeting!



  1. Many people suspect that the City plays a little fast and loose with their fund accounting in order to make the pictures appear rosier than they are and to hide blunders.

  2. David, the person that I had removed from chambers last night was John Hubbard, aka “Johnny Angry,” who persists in ignoring my admonitions to confine his comments to things over which the city has some control. He uses the public comment time to vilify a citizen with whom he has issues. I suspect he thinks we are a reality TV show and he is a star. The truth of the matter is that we are doing real work, and he is a real impediment.
    The police escorted him out after he became abusive and disruptive. I will not tolerate that behavior – it demeans everything we all work toward as a community.
    BTW, it was good to see you yesterday at the Assumption of Command ceremoney at MAFB!

  3. City manager Lawton said at the meeting he does not move money between budget items without Commission approval with the publics opportunity to comment. The lanage in the budget says otrherwise when it uses the word “among”. If changed budget items without commission prior approval then the commission/public has no opportunity to be involved and discussions about pools/golf courses loosing money may in realty be funds being shifted elsewhere. Further by lowering reserve funds to pay for the coal plant development may be the real reason the city just raised taxes. If healthcare costs are going up why do not we set up appropriate reserves to cover rather than raise taxes. In any event the public should have the right to vote on whether they want to assume the great economic risks in building a dirty coal plant.

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