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Move forward — Our view: Time for city council to get back to work

Glencoe city councilors have spent plenty of time and energy lately creating and maintaining a hubbub regarding the city council and its advisory boards and commissions, the need to attract more citizens to serve on those bodies, and councilors refusing to accept Mayor Randy Wilson’s annual board assignment.
When the city receives a proposal for development, a park plan, a maintenance project, policy change and the like, in many cases, the initiative is assigned to the appropriate advisory board or commission. The group reviews, studies and discusses the plan and offers a recommendation to the city council before it is placed on the city council’s agenda for discussion in a workshop or discussion, debate and ultimately a decision at a council meeting. Councilors also do their own research to, we hope, complement the information and discussion staff has provided to help shepherd the issue through the process on its way to the city council.
Generally, this is how things are supposed to work.
However, the council has shifted the focus on these groups’ work to control over who is appointed, the appointment process and how long people are permitted to give their time to the betterment of the city.
This saga reached a new level of frustration at the Jan. 21 city council meeting. Mayor Randy Wilson sought to move Councilor Cory Neid from the park board to planning and industrial commission. The park board requested a different liaison from the council. Along with opposing the board’s requested nominee to fill a vacancy, Neid’s work schedule apparently makes it difficult for him to attend park board meetings.
Wilson scoffed at the suggestion he was strong-armed by the park board to move Neid. The mayor said the primary reason he moved Neid was because the planning commission will be working on a comprehensive plan. Neid has been the loudest voice with concerns about that proposal so, the mayor reasoned, he should help craft a comprehensive plan the council can support. But the flaw in that rationale is that the council has yet to OK spending for a comprehensive plan and there’s no as-yet public guarantee it will.
Even still, if Neid’s work schedule doesn’t allow him to attend the park board’s longstanding Wednesday meetings, perhaps a change is in order. We would hope reasonable people can work this out.
And to muddy the waters even more, Councilor Allen Robeck declined to accept his appointments to the library and senior citizens board. He once again claimed city administration’s unfavorable opinion of him harmed the efforts of the library and senior citizens. Robeck, as is his habit, offered nary a shred of tangible proof for his hollow claim. If he has any, we’d like to see it. Robeck would expect the same if someone publicly made such a claim against him.
Mr. Robeck has plenty to offer. It’s too bad he focuses too much time time stirring the pot.
It’s time for the city council to refocus its attention to more important matters, expanding the commercial-industrial tax base, controlling taxes and spending and guiding the city’s development to be a better place to live, work and raise a family. We disagree with Councilor Alexander’s contention the advisory boards and commissions work for the city council stated Jan. 21. Like the city council, Alexander should remember, the advisory groups work with the city council for the citizens of Glencoe.
-jm