Pause while you think about what’s wrong with that statement.
Not long ago, I gossiped to another council member about the other council member’s defense of Stancil. I waited for that council member to do a double take. Nothing.
Here’s what I was waiting for: Recognition that Town Council is the town manager’s boss, not the other way around, and by extension, council has authority over staff who report to Stancil.
All this came to mind as I read a listserv discussion of the staff recommendation to grant carte blanche approval to Obey Creek before hearing the advisory committee’s report and recommendation. Obey Creek comes back before council tonight for a vote on how to proceed. The committee would like more impact data (traffic, stormwater and area economy) and a draft concept plan. Council itself voted last March that the final step in Phase 1 required an approved concept plan, but the developer won’t budge on any changes to the original plan that sparked widespread community uproar. (The success of the plan requires heavy customer traffic, yet the site is limited by a traffic bottleneck – a bridge that can’t be widened.)
Likely no one in the town Planning Department has to get to and from work via the James Taylor Bridge, so what do they care?
Why I care is because of the town’s double-speak. CH2020 principals have been used to justify form-based zoning (see: “carte blanche development”), yet conveniently ignores the CH2020 goal of community input. The Compass advisory committee has put in many, many hours over the past six months or so, all without compensation, to make this community more viable and desirable. Obey Creek developer Roger Perry is a heck of a charming guy. But town staff members swooning over his charisma to the point they dismiss community expertise is no way to run a town.
Somebody needs to remember who’s boss. Let’s hope Town Council members step up and show the balanced leadership we believed they could deliver when we elected them.
– Nancy Oates