DIB Shocked by Council Vote

July 14, 2006

Grumpy The Downtown Improvement Board thought expanding their boundaries to include the Belmont-Devillers area was a slam dunk. They had the support of many black business leaders and property owners in that area. Many saw it as a positive move that would include an area that was probably excluded from the original DIB district for racial reasons back in the 1972. It would have afforded those minority-owned businesses the same advantages white-owned businesses have.

Instead they got their butts kicked as J.D. Smith and Ronald Townsend joined forces with Marty Donovan (“Dr. No”) to prevent the change. It needed six votes to make it past the first reading. Councilman Jack Nobles, PC Wu, Jewel Canada-Wynn, John Jerrald vote for the expansion. Mayor John Fogg, Councilmen Mike Wiggins and Mike DeSorbo were absent.

If the plan had been approved, property owners in the proposed new area would have been allowed to vote on expansion in a November referendum.

So you have Marty Donovan who has made a big deal out of public having the right to vote on the Community Maritime Park – now refusing to let the public vote on expanding the DIB.

Way to stick to your principles, Marty.


2 Responses to “DIB Shocked by Council Vote”

  1. Jason Says:

    Say what you want about Marty Donovan’s politics, at least he shows up for the vote. Where are Wiggins and DeSorbo? Late tee-time?
    Don’t they get paid to sit on the city council? I realize that it’s a very small paycheck, but it’s a paycheck nonetheless. The least they could do is show up to vote.
    Smith is a lame-duck who doesn’t live in the district he “represents”, yet he shows up to vote.
    There are plenty of people in this city that take time out of their schedules to do things like mentor kids, help the elderly, clean up neighborhoods, etc…and most do it for free. We can’t even get our council members to show up to a council meeting to vote…and we pay them.
    We need a mayor. A real mayor. Nothing’s going to change as long as these back-slappers are in charge.

  2. SaveAnotherCity Says:

    I agree that the irony of Marty Donovan’s decision not to allow the citizens to vote is interesting, but, in all fairness, some of the blame for this needs to be placed on the DIB itself. Once they saw that three council members were absent (and by most accounts, all three would have voted to pass to second reading) their best strategy would have been to ask for a vote to the second reading to be heard by all ten council members and not even engage in debate until all ten were present. Instead, they waited until certain council members had gotten in a lather about two mills worth of taxes to ask for the second hearing. Furthermore, Dan Lozier’s comments to the effect of ‘I can’t tell you what the DIB can do for you; you have to opt in (and pay the additional two mills) before we can discuss’ probably didn’t help. I know it’s armchair quarterbacking, but you’d think with the amount of time DIB had to prepare, they would have made a little more progress.

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