I don’t think I’ve ever been so displeased with a city council than the one we have now. I’m not impressed at all. Some of their actions have been blatantly dismissive and needlessly rushed. The recent decision to harvest trees near lake Decatur for profit (a small profit at that) was met with concerned citizens, including myself, wanting more answers and more time to ensure our concerns were addressed. The city council simply didn’t care and our mayor said the conversation was over, when in actuality there never was a conversation.
What was the rush to cut down the trees in the first place? Then this week the council voted to hire a company to remove birds from the downtown area. Honestly, I’ve never noticed any problems whatsoever of birds downtown but I’m assuming there is a problem that I’m not aware of.
Councilman David Horn wanted to ask questions regarding the methods the company would employ to rid pigeons and starlings from downtown. A representative of the company wasn’t at the council meeting to ask. Horn is a biology professor at Millikin and he has voiced his concerns regarding environmental issues before, including the sale of the trees. Both Horn and Councilman Faber wanted to hold off on the tree contract but the other members didn’t want to wait on the vote and quickly passed it. This time Horn was on his own.
I don’t think it was unreasonable to want to ask questions regarding what methods are going to be used before approving the bid. Does city management even know? Did they call up Springfield and ask how well the methods have worked there? From what I’ve read, there’s been a lot of displeasure in the results seen in Springfield provided by the same company.
The larger issue is the pattern I see with this mayor and most of the members of the council. They can be bullies. They can be downright mean. They pick at anyone who is different than they are and dismiss them as irrelevant. It doesn’t matter who it is. If that person isn’t in lockstep with their agenda, they’re ignored. Councilman McDaniel said he’s “no fan of tree huggers”. Okay, well it’s nice to know you don’t care about me or my concerns. That makes me feel confident in my reasoning for not endorsing you before the election.