So, people know about the infamous parking fee increase that threatens to stifle any momentum that downtown businesses may have. In response to the concerns of businesses, the Economic Matters committee apparently held a hearing to discuss what they could do about the "problem". (Problem is in quotation marks because the city council really wants to do this, and only considers it a 'problem' because people are making complaints, which they have to hear.) At this hearing, Ward 4 Alderman Sheila Finlayson took the opportunity to say the most unfortunate comment of 2009:
"One mistake I think is we didn't get everybody to the table," said AlderwomanMy goodness.
Sheila Finlayson, D-Ward 4. "We really didn't take into consideration the
impact (the fee increases) had on residents."
"I sold the business but one mistake I think I made was not telling my boss".
"I got a divorce but one mistake I think I made was not bringing my wife to the table. I really didn't take into consideration that she was part of the marriage".
"I write a blog claiming to be an economics savant but I really don't take into consideration the fact I was denied entrance into the University of Maryland PhD program in economics."
In typical city style, the Finance Committee wanted to glom on at the last minute, and tried to piggyback on the meeting that the E.M. committee was already having. Problem: even the guy who pays the bills didn't know about it:
Aldermen nearly broke state open-meetings rules last night as they debated
the fee increases.
The Finance Committee chairman, Alderwoman Classie Hoyle, D-Ward 3,
tried to schedule a joint meeting with the Economic Matters Committee last
night. City officials posted a notice about the Finance Committee's meeting on
the city Web site Sunday night.
State rules require elected officials to post public notice about pending
meeting at least 24 hours before the meeting is to convene.
Finance Director Tim Elliott, who returned from New York yesterday,
said he did not know of the Finance Committee meeting until yesterday morning.
He cautioned Hoyle that the Finance Committee would not be able to take any
action if members met last night.
Hoyle "can call a meeting if they want," he said. "They just can't make
any formal recommendation to the committee."
Two of the three members of the Finance Committee were unable to attend
the hearing anyway.
At first I thought that last sentence meant they had a meeting with only 1 person attending, but then I just figured that Hoyle sat in on the Economic Matters meeting. Maybe this time they can consider the residents.