Monday, July 02, 2007

City Council July 2

City Council agenda can be found here (.pdf agenda). Agenda was short, only 6 or so items.
I decided to sit with the media, mostly because it is much more comfortable up there, not really. I thought I might put my considerable energies to giving folks a different take on the meeting. Perhaps I will do it again, perhaps not.

Nothing extraordinary at the meeting tonight, a few key decisions.
Let's play guess who said these statements?
In no particular order and the quotes are approximated.
1. "maybe we should try a surge"
2. "just a correction, the 43mph is not an average, it is the 15th percentile"
3. "the steering committee has had 9 meetings from Nov. 2005 to July 2007"
4. "We need to be more vigilant, effort by council, planning commission, City atty set some guidelines for compliance with this plan."
5. "'noise in progress' what does that mean?"
6. "...you are insulting every man and woman in this department..."
7. "$200 is stiff, $500 could be crippling"

Answers:
1. Kendra in discussing the proposed increase in traffic fines, ironic. Quite a welcome light-hearted moment in a relatively heated discussion.

2. David Brown correcting a comment made by a member of the public. I thought this was interesting.

3. The consultant from RKK discussing the numerous public meetings involved in this process of coming up with a recommended preferred design alternative to interchange. Honestly that doesnt seem like a lot to me (it is almost two years and only 9 meetings- the Parks & Rec advisory Board meets once a month, and we need to, and we are only advisory).

4. Peter Kleeman- Council decided to vote that the interchange designs were consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. This is the same comp.plan implemented in 2000. Peter Kleeman made this remark during the matters before the public. Dave Norris specifically asked Craig Brown during the discussion on the comp.plan issue whether there were any comp.plan guidelines-Dave made a funny by saying something like the compplan seems like the Bible in that it can be used to justify anything- Craig responded that he thought the analogy was extremely insightful. But I digress- there are no guidelines to determine whether something not in the comprehensive plan is compliant with the plan. It seems from this evenings activities that Dave and Peter are in favor of coming up with some guidelines. Kevin insists pedestrian access is in the comp. plan, which is true. BTW- Council/Planning Commission work session on July 10th 5-7 Council Chambers to discuss Comprehensive Plan 2007! Be there.

5. Julian - a great question related to the interchange report, the answer RKK provided that the noise analysis is in progress for the impact of the interchange on noise levels in the surrounding areas. Actually a lot of answers provided by RKK were "in process" "parallel process" "it will be done prior to the public hearing (actually 30 days prior to the hearing)" and "this is common practice, the way it is always done" and finally "it is a work in progress." This was really frustrating, thankfully we arent relying on these consultants to change the face of our City. Oh wait, the interchange is a unique opportunity. These consultants are doing a fine job. Having said that there are some real holes in the story that I hope will be filled prior to the Fall public hearing and the public will have solid answers instead of this mushy, bureaucratic fluff.

6. Chief Longo- in response to Kevin Lynch's comment, "writing speeding tickets in Charlottesville should be like shooting fish in a barrel"- a heated exchange. Chief Longo insists the additional fines will be another tool in the departments toolbox.

7. Kendra discussing the traffic fines, especially combined with the new state administrative fees- she voted to approve it, as did everyone.

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