|June 23, 2006:
Redevelopment Plan Decision Comes Down to Single Vote
In a monthly meeting that included many unusual events, the Aglaura Borough Council last night rejected Phase 2 of the Aglaura Redevelopment Plan proposed by local company Marzent LLC by a vote of 43 to 42. After an extended and often contentious meeting and debate, the plan failed by a single vote, saving Mayor Dobbs the uncomfortable task of having to cast a tie-breaking vote, as it appeared he might have to.
At the request of Council member Diana Sprague, a Roll Call vote was taken, with each voter's name and vote being recorded as they voted, just one of the unusual factors involved in this month's Council meeting. As set forth in the Aglaura charter, all registered citizens that want to are allowed to vote on major community issues like this but rarely do more than a handful participate. Last night almost 100 people filled the meeting room, along with a few dozen non-residents who took part in a special call-in open discussion portion of the meeting.
The Plan appeared to pass at first, as what was thought to be the last vote was cast left the tally at 40 NAYs and 42 AYEs, but two residents who arrived late to the meeting then cast their vote, both against the plan, tying the vote at 42 - 42, and leaving many thinking Mayor Dobbs would have to cast the tie-breaking vote per the duties of his position. Before the Mayor had to vote, however, the Aglaura webmaster Sam Greene, whose duties kept her pre-occupied in the computer rooms of the facility, showed up to cast the deciding vote, causing the plan to fail 43 to 42.
Several of the voters, including Joseph Tennant and Janet Holloway, credited the passionate remarks by the call in participants along with similar email messages they have received recently, with swaying their votes. "Sometimes people removed from the actual situation can see it most clearly," said Mr. Tennant.
Marzent spokesman Bruce Abbott refused to comment on the outcome, saying that the company would issue an official response shortly. Aglaura Public Library head Librarian Sarah Wyatt, obviously overjoyed and overcome with emotion by the vote, also refused to make a statement.
|Nay Votes: 43
Budwell "Buddy" Browning
Ralph Simon Upcroft III
Archibald "Skip" Jenkins
Col. Lee Minkie
|Yea Votes: 42
Sue Ann Delabor