Sam’s Site Update
After a marathon council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12. Council voted at about midnight to table the Sam’s issue for just two weeks. They will vote on it on January 26. Here’s a play-by-play:
6:30 – Citizens began arriving and signed up either to speak or to have their opposition/support noted. They were greeted with a timeline detailing prior meetings concerning the Sam’s parcel of land and the study group that came up with a different proposal for the site. It is clear that the intent is to argue that the public has had time to review this plan, even though the exact plan (which varies from the study group plan) has only been known for a month. Snacks were provided for “a long evening – we might need nourishment”. At least 100 people were there with the vast majority unable to sit in council chambers.
6:45 – Executive Session begins. The topic was ECONOMIC INCENTIVES for the Sam’s site, indicating that this council plans to use OUR tax dollars to subsidize the current proposal.
7:00 – Work session on support of DFW World Affairs Council. Ended at 7:15
7:30 – The council meeting begins, with 13 agenda items preceding the Sam’s discussion.
8:30 – The council reaches the Sam’s item. Charles Goff makes a detailed, slide presentation in support of this project.
9:10 – Having prevented Councilmember Wilcox from asking a question of Charles Goff, the mayor instructs Charles to put his Powerpoint back to the first slide. For the next hour or so, the mayor conducts what amounts to a trial examination of Charles Goff, reviewing each slide that had already been discussed, by way of arguing that residents have known about this plan for longer than the month this plan has been known. Council members and the audience have no choice but to sit through this entire hour. No equal opportunity to ask questions of Charles Goff is offered to the members of the public who are present, all of whom found out about this new plan a month ago. Break called.
10:15 – Reconvene to begin public hearing – 20 people speak in opposition to project including two former council members and the former city manager; 2 offer lukewarm support. Several speakers gave up and left before the public hearing opened. About 20 others left after registering their objections in writing. Public hearing closes.
11:15 – Applicant makes his presentation, followed by questions from council.
11:55 – Mayor moves to table motion till January 26 and adjourns meeting. About 60 hearty souls stuck it out until midnight.