West U City Council audio now available

June 15, 2016 By:West U News Staff

Community, Local News


Did you miss the latest West U City Council table? Don’t fret.

West U is in the midst of a six-month trail of posting recorded council meeting audio on the city’s website. The recordings, posted the day after the meeting, allow those not able to attend, a way to hear discussions from the council members on indexed agenda items on their own time.

After the six months, an evaluation of usage will be presented to council to assess any further direction.

One Response to “West U City Council audio now available”

  1. Anonymous (but not that one) Says:

    What a great resource! One no longer has to attend a council meeting in order to experience the splendor of Brennan Reilly in high dudgeon.
    I encourage everyone to check out the recording from the May 23, 2016, meeting. Go to item 6, the remarkably generous gift to the City by Jim Hughes’s estate of a 15,000 square foot lot at the corner of Sewanee and Pittsburgh, to be used as a park—-and a further gift of $200,000 to develop it. But only, in Ben Franklin’s words, “If you can keep it.” You see, there’s a 90 day deadline for the City to accept the gift.
    This is an easy one, right? Surely Council is going to act quickly, accept the gift, and move on to the next item, right? What reasonable elected official would delay in such circumstances?
    You probably already know the answer.
    Seemingly not content graciously and gratefully to accept the gift, and instead seemingly intent on elevating form over substance, Reilly repeatedly harangued the Parks Board for not canvassing neighbors—-even though the Board found out the details only a few days before. He criticized the Board for not following standard protocol on parks acquisition—even though this is a gift and not a purchase or condemnation. He cross-examined fellow council member Mardi Turner on when she had learned of the gift. He bloviated on “common courtesy.” He lectured everyone on “the right way to do this [accept a gift].” And he kindly did all of it on tape.
    Here are some particularly illuminating examples for your consideration:
    11:00 (he begins)
    13:45 (“the right way to do this”)
    16:05 (he wonders if the Parks Board should have tried to renegotiate the terms of the gift—-really!)
    22:30 (“there’s no [time] urgency here on this”–except the 90 days)
    24:27 (again with the Parks Board, and now Mardi’s exasperated)
    Did you note his tone of voice throughout? Did you like how he talked to the other council members, staff, citizens?
    Finally, at 29:50 Bob Kelly makes the excellent point (how it pains me to write that!) that if the City conditions acceptance of the gift on the neighbors’ approval, the then the City might end up losing the park. Yes, even Bob now seems tired of Reilly’s antics and tells him not to look a “gifted [sic] horse in the mouth.”
    At 33:15 the universe’s sense of irony is revealed. For those who remember Reilly’s auspicious introduction to City government on the Super Block issue, you’ll chuckle at his desire to avoid “the picketing and the screaming and the yelling” of angry neighbors (not one of whom attended the meeting) who just don’t want the park. But, he promises, he may disregard any such objections anyway. Huh?
    Finally, at 40:07 Reilly grudgingly votes to accept the gift-—but he gets in one last dig at “the process.”
    Now, one hears, Reilly is canvassing the neighborhood in search of “concerns.” Is he likely to find any concerns? Is he trying to create concerns? What’s his endgame? Is he now a one-man “Slate”?
    Elections have consequences. We usually get the representatives we deserve. I’ve done the work on this one meeting, and now these recordings mean that everyone can witness what they’re doing and how they behave. Find out for yourself how they behave when they act in your name. And remember it next election day.

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