Monday, December 10, 2012

City Council Meeting

The city council meets tomorrow night with quite a bit on the agenda. First up are public hearings on a pair of proposed TIF Districts, one expanding the current downtown area and the other setting up one encompassing the old high school complex and National Guard Armory on N. Oakland.  According to the minutes, council will not vote on these tonight, just hold the hearings.  I would expect the Northwest Carbondale Community Organization to have a representative at the meeting, as the proposed N. Oakland TIF brackets Oakland Avenue Auto Repair and would encourage more development in the area.  Avery Home Furnishings already uses the National Guard Armory for storage of overstock and I have heard rumors of a RC track coming to the property as well.

Council will have to approve this warrant as well, the largest of payments going to fire and police pensions and the Carbondale Public Library.

The annual report of the Planning Commission makes for some interesting reading.  Requests for rezoning and special uses have dropped by half from earlier in the decade.  Also, Commission member Navreet Kang, who is seeking a seat on the city council next year, attended only a third of the meetings, while member  Carolin Harvey attended all of them.

Also on the agenda is a proposal allowing the City Manager to appoint the City Clerk.  For most of the city's history, the mayor appointed the city clerk, with approval by the council in later years.  In 2003, council voted to allow the city manger to appoint the city clerk, only to change back in 2008.  Now, council wants to again put the clerk under direction of the City Manager, with authority to remove them from the office with approval of the mayor and council.

The Carbondale Convention and Tourism Bureau is requesting additional money from the funds held by the city from the hotel/motel tax  Total amount requested is about $188,000.

The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce has asked the city to strengthen its ordinances regarding aggressive panhandling. The ordinance would ban panhandling on a property zoned for business or on public property.  Not certain how this would stand up to a freedom of speech challenge. I have had discussions about panhandling with businesses in downtown and the freedom of speech concern has always come up.    A couple of months ago, Cape Girardeau's anti-flyering ordinance was overturned on a challenge from the  Ku Klux Klan as an infringement on the organization's freedom to communicate its message on unoccupied cars.  While not the same as someone walking up and asking you for money on public property, I could certainly see someone making a similar legal argument that the ordinance infringed on their right of free speech.

Finally, we have an ordinance authorizing the city manager to enter into an agreement with with other governing bodies in the region for the purpose of electrical aggregation through Select Energy Partners.  This just starts the negotiations so no idea when we might see any results.

Update:  Did want to point out, as was noted in an email, that Kang  has a new child, which accounts for many of his absences.  Prior to this year, his attendance ranged from 75 to 100%


  1. I had the idea that the old High School complex was zoned residential? Wonder why you need a TIF for that?

  2. It is. Anyone purchasing it would have to apply for a special use or rezoning.