Thursday, June 26, 2014

How Davidson Failed to Have a Special Meeting on HOT Lanes

There's been a lot of activity and swirl around the I77 HOT lanes project the past week - activity generated by the release of additional information from NCDOT - prior to Thursday's signing of the Commercial Close of the deal.

Here in Davidson much of that activity was around the request for a Special Meeting of Davidson's Town Board to discuss seeking a possible delay in signing the Commercial Close on the project until this new information could be clarified.  The need for the special meeting (if one was going to be had) stemmed at least in part from a post on this site last week.  Since we reported that this special meeting was not going to be held, aShortChronicle has obtained emails from the Town of Davidson detailing how that decision was reached.

There is much more in the documents received than the below set of emails, and it does appear there will be a sincere effort to hold a joint meeting with NCDOT and other area elected officials - possibly in early July 7th in Cornelius. Also, as part of the documents received, a list of detailed questions was compiled primarily by Commissioner Anderson and submitted for response to NCDOT.   Both of these are very good things towards getting clarification and updated information.

As for how Davidson's Board decided to not have a special meeting on the subject, that's a different matter.  There is definitely some room for improvement there.  Below are the relevant email selections on that.

Emails in time sequence starting with Comm Cashion's original request.
 Comm Jenest's response to Comm Cashion's original request...

Comm Fuller's response to Comm Cashion's original request...

Mayor Woods's response to Comm Cashion's original request...

Comm Graham's response to Comm Cashion's original request...

Comm Jenest's response to Comm Graham...

Comm Anderson's response to Mayor Woods (There was no direct response to Comm Cashion's initial request in the documents received)...

Without commenting too much on the individual responses, it appears that Mayor Woods had the strongest objection to having a special meeting to discuss this issue of a delay.  The extensive use of bold and underlining in his response being the clear indication of that.  Readers are strongly encouraged to go back and read that one a second time paying attention to the tone of it.  His frustration at even being asked for a meeting and having this conversation is palpable.

As for the Commissioner emails, readers can decide for themselves who gave this issue the most thought.

We'll leave our comments at that on the responses to the special meeting request.  We here at aShortChronicle would not want to be accused (again) of spreading misinformation or engaging in hyperbole.

Bonus Observation: Davidson's adopted Rules of Procedure require the Mayor or any three commissioners to call a special meeting.  This appears to be in conflict with the North Carolina general statute GS 161A-71 governing these meetings. That statute says the Mayor, the Mayor Pro-Tem, or any two commissioners can call a special meeting.  If Davidson was following the General Statute on this issue, both alternatives for who can call a special meeting were met.  Commissioner Beth Cashion is Mayor Pro-Tem and Commissioner Stacey Anderson provided the second needed request.

To eliminate the kind of heavy-handed response exhibited here by the Mayor against reasonable requests from Commissioners to call these meetings if needed, the Board should update their rules of procedure to be in line with State requirements.

No comments:

Post a Comment