Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Special Container Ordinance meetings

I attended the special meeting on the container issue the first night, September 17, and was impressed with the proceedings. I spoke very briefly with Brenda Teeslink after the meeting, who also expressed satisfaction with the proceedings that night.

Council members Gary Deaver and Denny Whayne were in attendance with Mary Collette arriving late.

Deputy City Manager Evelyn Honea presented a power point presentation and handed out paper copies of that power point presentation.

That night storage container businesses that own the units were in attendence. They were allowed to comment as often and as in depth as they pleased. There appeared to be genuine interest in their input by Honea and by Councilman Gary Deaver. Honea made notes as issues came up which she felt deserved further consideration.

Whayne, at one point made a feeble attempt to paint the business owners as having a "defensive" attitude but was quickly shot down. I, personally, saw no evidence that business owners had a defensive attitude. Everyone seemed reasonable and interested in working together to find a satisfactory solution to the issue.

I made the decision to skip the second and third meetings with plans to attend the last meeting. My reasoning is that, having seen the flavor of the first meeting, I'd like to revisit and see how it is going at the final meeting.

Honea presented broad guidelines of what the City is now considering and, like I wrote above, seemed genuinely interested in the thoughts and concerns of the representatives of storage container businesses present that first night. Often she inquired, after reading the language of a particular point, as to whether the representatives of the storage container businesses approved that particular language or had any problems with it.

This was my first true experience of hearing and seeing Evelyn Honea in action and I was impressed with her demeanor that night.

It will be interesting to see how the city uses the information and input they gather at these meetings in their final ordinance presentation to the City Council. I noticed that they seemed to seriously consider many of the points Brenda Teeslink had made in the alternative ordinance proposal she had offered at the special meeting on August 20. There was a softening of some of the city's positions and fees were reduced. Registration would only be required once every four years as opposed to annually.

I would encourage others to attend one or both of the final meetings. Here is the upcoming schedule (meetings are at 6:00 pm 4th floor Busch Municipal Building conference room):

Sept. 25, 2007: Large Retail Business Owners and Users Neighborhood Groups / Residents

Oct. 1, 2007: Manufacturing and Industrial Users Neighborhood Groups / Residents

Meetings which have already taken place:

Sept. 17, 2007: Storage Container Businesses that own the units Neighborhood Groups / Residents

Sept. 18, 2007: Small Retail Business Owners and Users Neighborhood
Groups / Residents

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