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Posted: May 24, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Council errors

Dear Editor: I have seen a lot of politics in my day, but since Jan. 13, 2009, I have seen so much it makes me question the actions of the city planning commission and the council. I know from the first planning meeting on the private school issue, that it was a done deal. I attended three planning meetings and two council meetings. I watched the planning commission change its own rules and ignore other rules. When I questioned them, they said they have the right to change the rules. They sent it to the city council with their changes to be approved. The city council voted 3 to 3, and the mayor broke the tie, voting in favor of the changes. Several weeks later the private school came back and requested that the 5-year reapplication requirement, which had been on the original permit, be eliminated. The loan institution would not loan the school the money needed with this 5-year stipulation. The planning commission and the city council both voted to eliminate the 5-year requirement, plus they clarified that the maximum total enrollment was not 650 students, but could go as high as 1,100 students. During this second voting process, a council member seconded the motion and then voted "no" on the motion. The mayor said that she could not second a motion and then vote against it. Wrong! According to "Roberts Rules of Order" in the section entitled "seconding the motion," it reads, "a second merely implies that the seconder agrees that the motion should come before the meeting and not that he necessarily favors the motion." No one present spoke up to correct this mistake. This changed the voting outcome to a 3 to 3 tie. The mayor broke the tie and voted in favor of the motion. Duh.
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