Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Schriner approved; Gaebler insults Douglas Bruce

Posted By on Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 2:58 PM

click to enlarge North Nevada Avenue is one of nine urban renewal areas in the city that will be overseen by those newly appointed to the Urban Renewal Authority board. - COURTESY CSURA
  • Courtesy CSURA
  • North Nevada Avenue is one of nine urban renewal areas in the city that will be overseen by those newly appointed to the Urban Renewal Authority board.

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.
 
Bill Murray, 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."

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