Those were the words Commissioner Stacey Anderson uttered to start her comments as Davidson Commissioners made their closing arguments before voting on the Luminous project and the sale of the Beaty Street property this past Tuesday. Anderson ultimately voted for the project, and that left many, many people very, very confused. aShortChronicle went back to the video and listened multiple times to see what might have been missed. Here is what Anderson said.
"So, I have changed my mind during this meeting.
But I still think this is the best plan, the best for Davidson" She goes on to talk about how great she thinks the plan is and about the money it will bring into the town. She says she thinks it meets all the town core values. Then she closes with this statement. "But I don't think the town can take the pressure, the tearing up, the anxiety it is taking to do this. But, aside from that, this is probably the best plan you'll ever see on this property."
Taken all together this certainly sounds like someone who was for the project and then switched to being against the project because of what it is doing to the town.
Anderson's comments came immediately after Commissioner Jim Fuller received major applause for his statements and strong commitment to vote against the project. They came after hearing dozens of citizens speak against the project. After she spoke, Commissioner Rodney Graham spoke at length for the project. Graham, along with Commissioner Brian Jenest also voted for it as well.
Taken all together, Anderson's ultimate vote for the project after her comments actually means she appears to have changed her mind twice. She was for the project going into the meeting; against the project after hearing from citizens; then she was back to being for the project again just a half hour later when the votes were cast.
Graham and Jenest work in the development industry, and just like sharks bite at the beach in summer, developers build. Their votes are wholly unsurprising. What makes Anderson's waffling so difficult to accept on such an impactful vote is that hers was the swing vote. Her vote made it 3-2 for the project.
Swing votes are important. By definition, they cause something to go one way or the other. Commissioner Stacey Anderson, now more than any of the other Commissioners, bears responsibility for the sale of the Beaty Street property and the Luminous project going forward.
As of this posting, Commissioner Anderson has not filed for re-election. The filing period ends one week from today.
Update: Commissioner Anderson filed for re-election on Friday the 14th.