Wednesday, January 8, 2020

1.7.20 Meeting Summary

Last night the Council took only one significant action and that was appointing Terri Denslow to the vacant Planning Commission seat.  After a 15 minute interview and with such little discussion that the result seemed preordained, the vote to appoint Ms. Denslow was 4-1. I was opposed.

Back in March when the Council was discussing Parolee Housing and various available restrictions, several ideas were offered from the community and from Council.  At the next meeting, Ms. Denslow came to the podium and likened that discussion to the enactment of Jim Crow laws, literacy tests, and poll taxes - effectively labeling myself, the Council, and those that would oppose parolee housing, as racists.  Casual accusations of racism may be de rigueur, but it does nothing to advance discourse.

Of the three candidates who applied, one had many years of construction litigation experience, one had multiple decades of experience as an architect working with local Planning Commissions, and Ms. Denslow who is a chemical engineer whose professional career has been focused on change management.

For these reasons I found Ms. Denslow to be unsuitable for the role of Planning Commissioner.  The rest of the Council disagreed. Mayor Pierce specifically identified Ms. Denslow's gender as a reason to support her appointment.

Separately, I asked to include on the agenda for the next meeting a request for Clayton to take a position in opposition on SB50 which I recently wrote about.  This bill has until the end of the month to make it out of committee so the next meeting is the only opportunity the Council will have to discuss it prior to that deadline.