Despite Nolan Schriner
's abrupt treatment of three City Council
members last week, Council voted 6-3 to approve his appointment to the Urban Renewal Authority
— the agency through which hundreds of millions of dollars for City for Champions
tourism project will flow.
We reported on Schriner's behavior
during an interview held on March 31. Council members on hand during that session were Council President Keith King
, and Councilors Joel Miller
and Don Knight
Knight and Miller voted against Schriner's nomination, along with Councilor Helen Collins
, who voted against all three nominees. She stated she's not a fan of urban renewal authorities, because they "often have been the source of shady real estate deals" that subsidize developers at the expense of funding for schools, firefighters and other urban services.
, retired Army colonel who monitors city business, urged Council to take more time in appointing members to a board that will have far-reaching powers over the city and taxes for decades to come due to plans for funding City for Champions with local tax dollars. "You’re approving three people without even asking why the others resigned," Murray said. "Not knowing the full scope of the decision makes us all liable for the outcome."
URA Chair David Neville
then told Council all URA meetings are open to the public, and added, "We don’t have any plans that are not open to the public."
Council voted to approve all three appointees. Votes on Valerie Hunter
and Peter Scoville
were 7-2, with Miller and Collins dissenting.
After votes already had been taken on Hunter and Schriner, King then asked for public comment, drawing barbs from anti-tax activist Douglas Bruce.
"This is a new low," he said. "Vote and discuss later? How can you people sit there with a straight face and allow such a procedure? Because you don’t give a damn about citizen comment."
Bruce earlier, during open public comment, pointed out a recent tweet from Councilor Jill Gaebler
that said, "Sounds like that jackass Doug Bruce."
Ironically, Bruce noted, her profile shows that among her interests is
"taking the time to be kind."
"If that's the definition of being kind, what's her definition of being mean?" Bruce said. "I would suggest, Mr. President, that it's your responsibility not to have public censure, but to take her aside and explain she is making the whole Council look bad."