Struck by the number of violations of open meetings law and TIF District by the City of Marion, Mayor Brad Cole wonders why no newspaper reporters have picked up on it. I watched from a chair in the Mayor's office yesterday, as he read the striking comparisons between Marion and Carbondale, which Scott Thorne found in a comment to this story in The Southern.
I always enjoy visiting Mayor Cole at his office -- starting with a wintergreen Lifesaver from the bowl in the lobby, and a refreshing bottle of Shawnee Mist water (bottled by the City) provided by Faith Johnson, his secretary, whose sister is an American Idol fan, like me.
Those mayoral meetings mostly mean me giving him an update on my life, and very little of me interviewing him about city biz. (For instance, he'd only half-jokingly tell me that the stack of papers on his desk is "secret stuff" he's working on. (Probably the new police station at old Lincoln Jr. High site.))
Also, he would neither confirm nor deny my theory that during the minute when the tape recorder was turned off during a closed session of City Council he said, "I'm turning this off, to f*ck with the City Clerk's head, and make her wonder what was said." ... "Since the discussion not recorded pertained to possible litigation concerning [City Clerk Janet] Vaught, whose job duties include keeping recordings of city council meetings." (as reported in The Southern).
I did make two requests: 1) that the City approve an official state-highway approved city sign that says "Greyhound Bus" on Cedarview Ct. Drive, on the corner where Domino's Pizza is located. And 2) That he attend the official ribbon-cutting of new location in September. He said he'd try to do both.
I'm staging my own ribbon cutting, although I realize that for $100 membership in the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, they will send out invitations to 400-plus members. But since few, if any ever ride a Greyhound Bus -- (and even if I join, a representative of the Chamber may not show up! see next paragraph) -- I'll just send out invitations to the people in the immediate vicinity of the business. Some Dentists, and the Secy of State, and Sonic people and Rent-One and Warehouse Liquor and Today's Technology, etc. and the Mayor, along with Moonlight Taxi and Blue Star Lines representatives, along with others in the ground transportation biz, like SIU Transport specialist Mark Robinson (the original Busdog). Maybe then, Graydog's will make the newspapers, where those 400-plus Chamber members are sure to see it.
Don't get me wrong. I have no problem with the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, but executive secretary Lisa Cardinale appeared to have a problem with me, until I told her it was Scott Thorne, not I, who posted the story about Welcome Fest, which mentioned the absence of a Chamber representative at the event. Seems like Executive Director Meredith Rhodes might have some 'splainin' to do, perhaps in a comment to Scott's post -- or to this one. (My advice to her, ignore it. Pretend like I didn't even stop by the office to say 'hi'.) Or send a tweet into the world of Web 2.0, like me.