It was good to get back into swing of things and attend a Danville City Council meeting in person. Here’s some Random Thoughts about it…
(Editor’s Note: This is about the Tuesday, November 15th meeting)
- I’m going to start it off by saying that the current mix of City Council members are the best Danville City Council that I can ever remember. All of them are open to citizen’s comments and have a strong knowledge of the issues. They may not vote the way I want to on some of the issues, but I always have respected their point of view.
- In the same line of thinking, Danville will have a great loss if David Luther does not run for re-election. Luther provides a strong voice of business knowledge which is sorely needed in today’s governmental workings. That statement is not meant as a slight to the other council members that will be up for election, of course.
- Danville city workers deserved that one-time bonus and council did the right thing in approving it unanimously. Although I’ll single out the policemen, firemen and teachers as especially deserving of the bonus, every city worker had not had a raise in three years. I talked with Budget Director Cynthia Thomasson before the meeting and she told me stories that some workers had their workload increased by a third because of staff cutbacks, yet the affected employees got nothing for the extra work. The economic timing wasn’t right for an across-the-board raise, but this was $1,100,000 well spent by the city.
- David Luther & Fred Shanks “get it”. In an effort to make the process of getting the “ghost signs” into city code, the Planning Commission & city staff concocted a process that rivaled the IRS tax code. Luther immediately said “We’re supposed to make this simpler” and the issue was sent to the work session to make it happen.
- Mayor Sherman Saunders continues to count the number of debate points in issues that he’s not involved in. Heh.
- Thank goodness that somebody’s going to do something with the Northside Tire & Northside Video derelict properties. I was beginning to think the city should demolish those structures instead of yet another house in the Washington St. area. The Northside Tire store is ready to reopen, however the city staff said the old video store has building code issues. Perhaps it will be demolished after all, but it’s good to see some progress on that property no matter what.
- O’Kelly’s rocks! They’re a giant success because they sell great food at reasonable prices. City staff & council know it’s good policy to help a growing business continue to expand. It’s also a good thing for council members to say nice things about local businesses unsolicited. Council members are people too and not just nine talking heads on the platform.
- “East Franklin Turnpike” is a stupid name for the bypass connector, but we’re now stuck with it.
- The public attendance numbers for the council meeting is horrible. Danville residents should attend them more often.
Finally, I want to think the council members for the warm welcome back to the media table. The words of encouragement mean a lot.