Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Wal-mart Employee Shortages

I don't shop at Wal-mart much, maybe twice a year, so have not noticed any problems with either stock outages or lack of help on the sales floor.  According to this article from Bloomberg, Wal-mart nationally has added 455 stores between 2008 and Jan 31 of this year.  During the same period, the company cut about 120,000 employees from company payroll.  The article doesn't say if this was due to employee attrition or termination.  However, this means that the company increased in size about 10% while cutting staff for the stores approximately 10%,  trying to cover more stores with fewer people.  there is only so much efficiency you can wring out of people before gaps in your operation start to appear.

The reason why Wal-mart, or any company, cuts payroll first is simple.  Payroll is the largest variable cost any employer has and the largest cost a business has direct control over.  If a company wants to reduce costs, the first place it typically looks is employees, as terminating one employee, leaving the others to pick up the slack, adds a whole year of wages to the company's bottom line.  Other costs, such as rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance, taxes, etc. are fixed and/or have to be paid for the business to keep operating.  Employee payrolls present a very large and tempting target for cost cutters, since the effect of removing an employee on profit is immediate while management can spread the increased workload over the remaining staff.  The problem occurs when you spread out so much additional workload that the remaining staff cannot handle it, which appears Wal-marts' problem

Monday, April 29, 2013

Trash Pick Up

The more I have thought about the modification of fees for trash pickup floated at the last city council meeting, the more I find myself favoring the idea.  Currently, the city assesses residents the same fee whether they put out one bag of trash or a dozen. This hardly induces anyone to minimize the amount of trash they put out since there is no penalty suffered by the household for additional refuse.  A low waste household costs the city much less than a high waste household but the low waste household pays the same as the high waste household.

Compare this to your water or electric bill, wherein the more water or power your consume, the higher your bill.  Unfortunately, we don't have any way to easily measure trash flows as we do water or power, so another method would have to be found.  Charging by the bag, like we do with landscape waste, sounds like a good idea, but does the city charge the same for a 33 gallon bag as it would for a 55 gallon bag, or charge one price per bag, with restrictions on weight, as it does with landscape waste?  Your thoughts?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

St. Andrews Mega Raffle

From an email I received (and, full disclosure, I do sit on the raffle committee but have no kids at the school.  Go figure):

Don't miss the big event.  See details below
You are invited to attend our second annual Mega Raffle drawing and family fun night 
 May 4th, 2013
Knights’ of Columbus Hall, Murphysboro, Illinois!!
Doors open at 5:30. Mega Raffle tickets on sale until 8 p.m.
The 140th Anniversary Exhibit will be on display for the final time
Music by Bill Harper
Food and beverages for sale
50/50 drawings through the evening
Kids games available outside (weather permitting)
We WILL be giving away over $173,000 in prize money!!!!
To purchase a ticket call 866-862-7282 or email  sasmegaraffle@gmail.com
Thank you for your support!

Greek Row

Following up from yesterday's post, from what I have heard, Greek Row has the potential to do quite well in Carbondale, as it is the only place in town, now that Universitees is closing, to purchase custom Greek wear.

According to a few people I have spoken with, Greeks are avid purchasers of imprinted clothing and avidly visit the shops that sell it in Champaign  whenever they are in town for an event.   Apparently, while buying online is an option, it is not a preferred one as they would rather purchase products they can see and touch.  This bodes well for the future of Greek Row.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

UniversiTees Closing

Carbondale's purveyor of really cheap imprinted t-shirts (Buy 1, Get 2 Free) has a sign outside the store announcing "Store Closing".  Did not happen to spot what date though.  Likely about the end of the semester, leaving Attitude Designs and its spin off, Greek Row as the only places in town to get custom apparel imprinted locally.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Northwest Carbondale Safety & Security Meeting

In case you live in the near-northwest section of Carbondale, there is a meeting this evening of the NCNA Safety & Security Committee at 6 p.m. at Key West Lounge:

On Wednesday, April 24th at 6:00 pm at Key West Lounge there will be a meeting of the NCNA’s Safety & Security Committee, where we will be hearing and addressing resident concerns around Safety (traffic, infrastructure, environmental, etc.) and Security (neighborhood watch, CPTED [Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design], food security, emergency response, neighborhood mapping, etc.). If you are not able to make this committee meeting, please consider emailing any questions, concerns or ideas that you may have regarding our neighborhood’s safety and security [BrentRitzel@yahoo.com].

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Inheritance Valley Winery

 Inheritance Valley Winery, likely the smallest wineries along the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, has closed its doors to the public.  I noticed the sign missing last week and the website confirms it.  Wines still available at other locations along the Wine Trail but not at the winery itself.  I saw very little traffic there during the years it was open and imagine they have decided to focus on the business end of the operation, rather than try to handle both manufacturing and retailing.

Monday, April 22, 2013

4 Star Hotel

Just heard discussion of Walker's Bluff looking at putting in a 4 star hotel at the facility, which would certainly serve as a great anchor for southern Illinois tourism.  Has anyone heard anything about this?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Lt. Gov. Post

Eliminating the post of lieutenant governor seems penny wise and pound foolish to me.  By eliminating it, the state would save an estimated $2 million per year.  However, since the governor and lt. governor run on the same ticket, maintaining the office as it is ensures that, should the governor stop down or be removed from office (cough, cough Blagoyevich), the person who replaces them would be of the same political ideology.  Since the office of attorney general is an elective one, there is no guarantee that the holder of that office would have the same leanings as the governor.  The people of the state elected a representative of one political party to the office and shifting to someone of a different political persuasion would appear to go against their votes.  From what I remember, about half of the time that a Republican held the office of Governor in recent years, a Democrat held the office of Attorney General, meaning a definite switch in political ideology without the vote of the people.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Liveblogging City Council

Lliveblogging tonight's city council meeting:

7:28  Councilwoman Jane Adams is making announcements about  various events in Carbondale and warning people that if door-to-dorr sales people come to their house, they should have a permit issued by the city.  If they do not, they have not been authorized to solicit within the city.

7:30 Councilmen Don Monty and Lee Fronabarger also making announcements about upcoming events including the citywide cleanup laster this spring.

7:33 Mayor Fritzler going over the consent agenda. Would bet $5 that someone wants something pulled from it for a separate vote. Another $5 says it is councilman Monty.  Nope, not Monty, but Fritzler and audience members asked to pull 3 items for individual vote.

7:35  Apparently the audience members got confused and thought item 4.4 was dealing with the city budget, when it actually dealt with re-appointing people to various commissions.

7:37  Now discussing  the annexation of property in the Lakeland Hills subdivision.  Some concern by audience members of tax implications of the annexation as well as flooding and drainage problems.

7:50  Lakeland Hills annexation approved.Now under discussion is renewal of the city's mowing contract.  Apparently one of the companies that submitted a bid to handle the city's mowing has pulled out the bidding, saying that, if they did not get a contract for the entire area, it would not be profitable for them.

7:50  Mowing contract approved with the hope the company buys its gas in Carbondale.

8:00  to applause, Chris Wissmann just moved the city start the process for renaming a section of Jackson Street in honor of Corene McDaniel.

8:15  McDaniel and Wissmann getting certificates recognizing them for their service on the council.

8:30  Fair Days resolution considered for the Sunset Concerts.  Passes 7 to 1 with McDaniel voting no, as she has consistently since joining the council.  She does not feel it appropriate to have alcohol at events held on city property.

8:39  Now we are discussing the budget.  Audience member is asking if the council could require SIUC  project paid for by the Saluki Way tax to use Carbondale business in the construction.  Mayor Fritzler is pointing out that the money raised from the tax only went to fund bonds for the new stadium and Arena renovation.

8:45  In response to a question Councilman Fronabarger points out that the new  Student Services building is funded solely from student fees.

8:45  Wissmann now talking about about a company called Buxton (sp) that does surveys of communities to determine what types of businesses has a good chance of surviving in a community.  As he pointed out to me during the pre-council reception, it makes little sense for another auto parts company to locate in a community if there are already 5 similar businesses there unless there is evidence there is unserved demand for auto parts.

8:49    New budget passes unanimously

8:50 Motion to adopt a new five year community investment program. Essentially, this is a guide on where the city should invest dollars in the community over the next five years.  The firs station and public safety buildings were both part of past CIPs.

8:54  City manger Kevin Baity points out that the CIP also indicates where funding for the proposed city projects come from.  Passed unanimously.

8:55  Pay plan for non union city employees adopted unanimously as well.

8:57  Council now discussing requests for funding from local community organizations.  This might get a bit dicy as several organizations that requested funding are not in the proposal so representatives from those organizations might push council to add funding for them..

9:05  Nope, nothing from the audience.  Passed unanimously. Authorization of refunding bonds for various improvements up next. Part of this will go to Schwartz Street improvements first proposed back in 2006

9:15  Monty pointing out that he was opposed to funding the Swartz Street project through additional debt but that the cost of said debt (interest) is so low that it makes sense to take on debt in order to do the construction now, rather than later when construction costs increase

9:19  Adams pointing out that debt took on to fund University Mall will be paid off about 2019, freeing up more city money.

9:30  Refinancing of bonds passed unanimously. Moving onto a discussion of technical changes to the Revised Code dealing with the revisions to the Neighborhood Business District.  No substantive changes to the code are proposed.

9:34 Month compares the ordinance to correcting punctuation errors in the original ordinance.  vote is 7-1 in favor with Adams opposing.

9:36  Tony Espozito (sp?) speaking during citizen comments about trash pickup.  Concerned about one price charged to all residents when some households generate lots of trash while others generate very little.  Fritzler says he has been pushing for graduated refuse collection fees but the process is very slow.

9:40   Fritzler says the city is looking at other methods of charging for refuse collection but does not go into specifics.

9:43  Baity says there are currently overage charges if you set out too many cans of trash but enforcement and tracking are difficult.  Councilman Jack welcomes Espozito to Carbondale and agrees trash collection should be looked at.

9:45  Fritzler comments that the city gets complaints about charging recycling fees.  Adams notes that some landlords don't provide trash receptacles for tenants, piggybacking on other locations that do have trash receptacles.

9:49  Jack thanking Wissmann and McDaniel further.

9:51  McDaniel now thanking city staff for their courtesy and especially city police for escorting her to her car on late nights. Mayor Fritzler now commenting.

9:52  Fritzler thanking Wissmann and McDaniel for their service.  Now talking about H Group, which was denied a permit to open in Carbondale, is opening a home in West Frankfort.

9:54  Fritzler now talking about Amerin and how they need to paint their rusty power poles. Supposedly, Amerin will start painting them in May.

9:56 Council going into closed session, which means that's it for tonight.  Comments on tonight's meeting welcome.

Corene McDaniel Comments

Had the opportunity to chat with Corene McDaniel McDaniel for a few minutes during her retirement reception this evening, though she made it a point to say she was not yet done with council, until the new members take their seats in May.  She said she is happy to leave the council on what she feels is a high note for her time serving Carbondale, is "comfortable" with her time on the council and has never regretted any vote she has cast.

After she leaves the council, McDaniel plans to spend more time working with the Eurma Haynes Center, the African-American Museum and  further spoiling her grandchildren.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Student Center Restaurants

Was chatting with an employee at the SIUC Student Center over the weekend and learned that the contracts for all of the restaurants in the facility, save for McDonalds and Stabucks, are up for renewal this year.  He indicated that several of those currently in the center might not renew their contract.

What I really found interesting was that he said the university planned to actively look for local restaurants and businesses to move into any vacated locations.  Back in the 90s, McDonalds moved into the Student Center from its location on S. Illinois, opening the gates for national fast food franchises to set up locations in the Center and giving students one less reason to visit downtown Carbondale, as the downtown McDonalds location (where Kaya sits now) pulled a lot of students off campus for breakfast and lunch.

No coffee shops or hamburger places, as McDonalds and Starbucks both have non-compete clauses in their contracts, but here's hoping we get to see a couple of local restaurants set up inside the SC.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Coming and Goings

Locally Important Produce had a soft opening Wednesday of this week at their West Walnut location.  Despite the name, it appears the store, at least for now, will focus on product in general, rather than locally produced items as they stocked bananas, oranges, and kiwi, none of which grow locally, at least, not to my knowledge.

Meanwhile, DC Gold Exchange has a "For Rent" sign in the window of its West Main location, though its fixtures are still inside, inlcuding a nice looking sofa set and LED tv. Over the last couple of months, the business appeared closed as often as it was open so not really suprised at this turn of events.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New Business

Locally Important Produce Store has a "Coming Soon" sign in the window in the space on West Walnut between Phoenix Cycles and Illusions Hair Stylists.  Not a great location for a store like this as the parking is half a block south of the location and inaccessible unless you turn half a block before reaching the store.  Drivers who see the store and decide to stop on impulse will have to make a 360 degree loop to get back to it. 

A much better location for such a store, which I assume will focus on locally produced fruits and vegetables, should have been the old Book World location on South Illinois where it could have taken advantage of both better parking and the foot traffic generated by Harbaugh's Cafe, which draws exactly the clientèle interested in purchasing locally sourced food. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Election Results

Barring something funny happening, with 100% of the results counted  and 4342 people voting, it looks like Carolin Harvey takes 1st place with 20.7% of the votes, Lee Fronabarger in 2nd place with 16.72% of the votes and Jessica Bradshaw gets the 3rd city council spot with 15.59% of the vote.  Brent Ritzel comes in fourth with 14.33% and Navreet Kang 5th with 10.57%.  None of the rest of the candidates broke past single digits.

Just for the record, I did call two of the races earlier today and gave Bradshaw a 50/50 chance of taking the third spot. 

City Council Elections

Polls opened at 6 a.m. today and will close at 7 p.m.  Light turnout expected.  If it is similar to 2009, Jackson County will only see about 16% of eligible voters heading to the polls.   That seems reasonable, given  no mayoral election to pull people out and not of the city council members have particularly generated much enthusiasm. 

I expect Lee Fronabarger to get re-elected, since incumbents usually are.  Of the two remaining seats, Carolin Harvey should take one of them, based on her service with the Planning Commission and reputation.  The last open seat is a tossup, though Brent Ritzel and Jessica Bradshaw have worked hardest to get it.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Grand Re-Opening

Murdale True Value has its grand reopening this weekend.  20% off most stuff in the store.

Jane Adams on Council Candidates

In response to Mayor Fritzler's email, Councilwoman Adams sent out this email highlighting candidates worth of consideration in the election tomorrow (You do remember it is tomorrow, right?).  Only two names, Carolyn Harvey and Jessica Bradshaw, appear on both lists.:

My View
City Council Elections on Tuesday
In a recent email, Mayor Fritzler took the unusual step of endorsing four candidates for City Council. The four candidates would, he said, “have the necessary skills to work together with other council members, the city manager, and Carbondale residents.”

In general, unless a group publicly runs as a slate, I think it is inappropriate for an elected official, like the Mayor, to attempt to pick his associates.

On the other hand, I do believe its important to note the positive qualities of City Council candidates that you, the voters, will select. I regard the following candidates as worthy of your consideration: Lee M. Fronabarger, Carolin Harvey, Navreet S. Kang, Brent Ritzel, Jessica C. Bradshaw and Tony Holsey. 

I have high regard for all the Council candidates whom I have had the opportunity to hear at forums and whose positions I have read. These six have struck me as the candidates who have the necessary depth and breadth of knowledge and experience with Carbondale’s governance to represent all the citizens of Carbondale. As I note below, all six have positive attributes and experiences that they would bring to Council.

I urge voters to learn as much as they can between now and Tuesday in order to vote for the individuals you believe will best represent your interests and aims for this city.

Additional information is available on the sites linked below. This not an endorsement. In terms of my priorities for the city, I favor some candidates over others. I fully expect to have disagreements on policy and enlightening debates with all of these prospective council members. That is how it should be in a robust and substantive democracy.

Lee M. Fronabarger has been an excellent member of City Council, always prepared and ready to enter into the discussion at Council. Crucially, he has been supportive of the Carbondale Neighborhoods including opposition to Neighborhood Business Districts as the issue came before Council. Lee has long been an advocate for the proposed aquatics center. He initiated the new city program that offers savings on prescription drugs for city residents who lack full coverage. He lives on the southeast side of Carbondale.

Carolin Harvey has strong skills in accounting and an interest in balancing the City's budget. She currently serves as the chair of the Planning Commission. She is a long time professional at the university, has been active in a number of civic organizations, and lives on Carbondale’s far west side.

Navreet S. Kang is a naturalized citizen who has achieved the American dream. He owns his own business and is a long time member of the Carbondale Planning Commission as well as a past elected member of the Park District. Carbondale has a large and growing immigrant community that has not achieved the recognition that it deserves. Navreet lives in the area between West Freeman and Murdale Shopping Center.

Tony Holsey is a builder and contractor in the construction industry. As such, he is deeply knowledgeable about the condition of housing in Carbondale. Through his work he has achieved familiarity with our housing codes and ordinances. He is also a minister at Greater Gillespie Temple Church and a leader in the African American community. He lives in the Northwest neighborhood

Jessica C. Bradshaw and Brent Ritzel share many of the same attributes. They are both Carbondale natives and attended local schools. They are both focused on environmental issues and sustainability. Also and very important, they represent a young cohort of candidates in Carbondale. Both live in the Northwest neighborhood and are active in the Northwest Neighborhood Association.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Fritzler Email

Mayor Fritzler sent out the following email from his carbondaleforjoel@gmail.com address.  Also posted a similar message on his Facebook page:

In less than a week the makeup of the Carbondale City Council will be known for the next two years.  Unless you have taken advantage of early voting, I urge you to exercise your responsibility to vote next Tuesday, April 9.

It is important to elect candidates that are able to consider the ideas of others yet not be easily swayed to abandon their convictions.  A member of the city council needs to be able to: 1) work as a member of a seven member team, 2) agree to disagree, 3) accept that at times they will be part of the minority vote and be able to move on to the next issue, 4) do their homework and ask questions rather than making assumptions, and 5) put their own personal feelings toward other individuals aside for the good of the community.

I know that Carolin Harvey, Jerrold Hennrich, Jessica Bradshaw, and Blaine Tisdale have what it takes to “work well with others” to accomplish the work that you expect from your city council.  Yes, I know that there are only three council seats available and that I just listed four names but, I didn’t want to make it too easy for you.  All of the candidates that are running have various skills but, Carolin, Jerrold, Jessica, and Blaine have the necessary skills to work together with other council members, the city manager, and Carbondale residents. Please do your homework, pick three of these four candidates, and vote next Tuesday.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

BOT Trustee Walkout

Two members of the SIU Board of Trustees walked out of this morning's meeting, leaving the board without a quorum and unable to conduct business.  Board was getting ready to elect officers, minus three members, when Marquita Wiley and David Hamilton left the room.

I am not sure if the dysfunction at SIUC has infected the board, vice versa or if the two organizations are separately dysfunctional.

Retail Sales in Southern Illinois

If you got a print copy of this week's Southern Business Journal, there is an interesting chart on page 10 showing retail sales from the Illinois Department of Revenue for 20 major cities in the southern Illinois region south of I64.  The chart tracks retail sales from 2008 to 2012.  The interesting thing about the chart is that sales for all twenty cities trend up from 2008 to 201, then all but 3 show a drop in sales from 2011 to 2012.  It's not a huge drop, except for West Frankfort, which saw a 42% drop,  and it is likely just a blip on the sales radar, but still, it is striking to see such a consistent dip across so many communities, with the only ones showing a sales uptick were DuQuoin, Jonesboro and Redbud.

What puzzles me is that I can't think of any reason for so many communities to show a drop last year, given that the economy is still improving, albiet slowly, and nothing, to my knowledge, happened in the area or state to cause the drop.  Any comments?

Jessica Bradshaw Statement

Asked Jessica Bradshaw (and a couple of other council candidates) what she would bring to the city council that other candidates would not.  Here is her response:

I would bring to the council a wide background in Carbondale. I have experienced Carbondale as a kid/teenager, a business owner, and now a working adult. I think that these experiences give me a unique perspective on life in Carbondale. As a graduate of both the old Lincoln and the old CCHS, I know that life in Carbondale is changing. Our students now mostly must use a car or bus to get to school.
When I purchased Rosetta Stone Bookstore in 2006, I realized how much our community was struggling. I joined the Chamber of Commerce, Carbondale Main Street, and tried to help as much as I could while running a business. (Actually, when I moved the bookstore to the Town Square, I got involved with the Historic Downtown Business Association. When artist Eileen Bowman came to talk to us about having an Art Fair, I suggested making it an Art & Wine Fair, and feature our local wineries as well as our local artists. I had been to similar festivals in California. While I closed up shop shortly after that meeting, I am happy to see it is still going strong!)
I currently work at SIU as an Office Manager for two offices that help disadvantaged youth succeed in college. I am also involved in several community organizations: WDBX, Nonviolent Carbondale, the Association of Civil Service Employees (IEA/NEA), and the Northwest Carbondale Neighborhood Association. I am currently the Chair of the Carbondale Human Relations Commission, which has opened my eyes even more to some of the struggles that residents in this city deal with. The Commission was set up ten years ago to improve race relations and address conflicts between peace officers and community residents. While we still have our work cut out for us, the Commission is continuing to forge the bonds to strengthen our community. I want to further this work as a City Councilmember, and get everyone involved in really making Carbondale a vibrant, sustainable, livable, wonderful place to call home.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

City Council Meeting Liveblogging

7:20 p.m.  Joining the city council meeting in process.  Currently under discussion is amending the city code to allow the following types of buildings within the city:

Type 4 – Exterior walls are non-combustible, interior building elements are heavy timber construction.
Type 5 – All structural and interior building elements are of any materials permitted by code.

Currently, these two types of construction are not permitted by the Carbondale Fire Code

7:30  Passed unanimously

7:35 Discussion of a final Planned Unit Development at Liberty Village.  Citizens are expressing concern  about the potential of increased traffic in the area and asking for another road exiting the area to Rt. 13.  Council passed the proposal for the PUD (does anyone ever consider this acronyms) unanimously.

7:40 Council just passed a proposal approving the proposed development at Liberty Village, unanimously.

7:45  Council getting ready to review the budget and Community Investment Plan and just took a brief break to allow those with no interest in the topic to exit the chamber.

7:47 Councilman Don Monty is questioning why a recommendation from the Sustainability Commission was not included in the budget or brought to council's attention until the public hearing.  Councilwoman Jane Adams is asking for a more welcoming sign for bicyclists to be put up at the entries to the city.

8 p.m.  Council is discussing installing or moving parking meters from other locations to the Town Square lot on the north side of Hwy 13.

8:10  Councilman Chris Wissmann is not happy with the quality of consultant reports the city has received in the past, save the electric aggregation one.  Also thinks the city should look at the types of businesses it works to attract.  If we keep getting in clothing stores, and they keep closing, the city should look at encouraging other types of businesses.  He appears to be looking for a business analysis of the city.

8:15 Adams now discussing the perception of Carbondale as business unfriendly and her experience in the difficulty of obtaining permits from city hall.

8:25  Mayor Joel Fritzler finished complimenting city staff on the budget briefing books prepared for each budget now, saying they save several hours in meeting time.

8:27 Monty asking about shift of funding from Spirit of Attucks to organization funding and providing additional funding to Carbondale Main Street.

8:30 Citizen Comments now.  Meghan Cole, Executive Director of Carbondale Main Street, now addressing council, pointing out the organization received $30,000 from the city for landscaping services in the early '90s and receives significantly less today while providing more services.

8:35  Sandy Litecky of the Arbor District now asking about Neighborhood Assistance Teams.  Feed got rather choppy at that point so not clear as to what she asked.  Monty now explaining the idea behind the Neighborhood Assistance Teams.

8:36 And here's a question about the Saluki Way sales tax and if it is included in the budget. Also asking about funding for programs at the Eurma Haynes Center and more fonding for police officers.  City Manger Kevin Baity responded that the only Haynes Center program funded is the I Can Read program and that 4 police officers were just sworn in for a total of 68.  Now asking for a full time affirmative action officer which the mayor says had been added to the duties of the city manager's office.

8:38.  Nancy Stemper of Carbondale Community Arts announcing the purchase by CCA of the United Church of Christ, Scientist on W. Walnut as a home for the organization.

8:45  Monty now pointing out that, while there are huge numbers of programs the city would like to fund but it only has a limited amount of funding available.

8:50 Council just voted to rezone properties from underutilized zoning formats to formats that are more used, I guess?  I'm sure it makes sense but miss most of the explanation from the city manager.

8:51  Council just recessed.

9:00  And they are back, discussing revisions to the Carbondale Revised Code regarding neighborhood Business Districts, which have attracted quite a bit of attention over the past couple of weeks.

9:15  Monty is now talking about limits in the code on the number of allowed dwelling units, not even getting to the Neighborhood Business Districts yet, meaning this will be a long night.  Since I have to get up early, I shall bid you all goodnight.  Comments or an update on what happens next are welcome.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Liveblogging City Council

Haven't done one in awhile but tomorrow night's city council meeting promises to be interesting so I will liveblog the festivities, assuming I can keep up with them, starting about 7 p.m

New Business

Not sure what is going in there but there's a "coming soon" sign in the store window at 201 West Walnut,  just behind Phoenix Cycles.  Sew-a-Lot was there last but moved west a block a few months ago to the long empty Rex Loans building.