Got to last night's council meeting about 9:45 just as people streamed out of the building. While not the largest attendance in recent years, I heard estimates of 90+ people in the audience. The agenda item drawing all the attention was the proposal to rezone the area around the intersection of old and new Highway 51 from rural residential to commercial. Proposal opponents wore a green lapen ribbon to signify their desire of maintaining a "green belt" around Carbondale and following the recently approved Comprehensive Plan.
Councilwoman Corene McDaniel introduced the resolution to rezone the property and, after what must have been a lot of discussion, the council voted it down, 4-2 with McDaniel and Mayor Cole voting in favor and Fritzler, Pohlman, Haynes and Wissmann opposed. Afterwards, several of the supporters commented that Haynes and Wissmann had been the targets of lots of lobbying by those opposing the rezoning.
Once almost everyone left, the council went into closed session to select a replacement for Lance Jack, leaving me, Jack, reporters from the Carbondale Times and Daily Egyptian (the reporter from the Southern apparently decided it wasn't important enough news to hang around for) and Asst. City Manger Kevin Baity sitting in the otherwise empty room. While waiting, we got insights into Jack and Baity's musical tastes, saw the plaque Jack received for his service on city council, and Jack offered to pose for both happy (if he got reappointed to council) and sad (if he didn't) photos for the accompanying articles. Council returned at 10:20 to announce that they chose Mike Neill to fill out Jack's term of office.