I read your report online on the election of the new board for the Public-Private Partnership. I was also present and noticed that Bo McInnis was not on the list which was given by the Director. I just assumed that some change had been made. After the meeting I learned that Council members had been given a list of the new members and that Bo McInnis was on that list. Something happened between the time Council’s list was made and the time the Director read out the names. It should be a rather simple matter to correct. Before the minutes of the lat meeting are approved, one of the Council members should state that the vote did not reflect his intent (if in fact that is correct) and ask that the prior vote be set aside. If there is a second then Council can vote to rescind and then vote on the correct names. In fact, I believe Council was outside their authority in voting to place someone other than Bo McInnis on the Board as Bo was the recommended appointee of the County Delegation. Council could reject that recommendation but could not appoint anyone else unless that person was recommended by the Delegation. Therefore, Council’s vote to appoint anyone other than Bo to the delegation’s slot would be void.
Correcting the mistake (if in fact it was a mistake) is the easy part. The difficult part is to determine how such a mistake could have been made in the first place. I suppose there could be all sorts of conspiracy theories such as:
1. Did someone on Council conspire with the Director to change the names from that shown on Council’s list? Certainly there are several Council Members who are displease with Bo.
2. Did someone mislead the Director to make him look bad?
3. Did the Director change the names to make the Representative look bad?
4. Why did the Director not point out the change to Council when he read out the names?
5. Why did the Administrator not point out the change to Council?
Hopefully there was just a failure to communicate between the Representative and the Director. Everyone can then apologize for the mistake and get on with business. It is a shame that such an important new venture has to get off on such a bad note. Bo McInnis and Robert Johnson are two good men who have much to offer in the field of economic development. I hope that both can serve in some capacity. However a review of the Ordinance passed by Council does not give the House Member the authority to designate a member of the Board. The House Member is listed as an automatic non voting member of the Board. Nowhere does it allow the House Member to designate someone else.
Of greater concern to me is the fact that a lame duck Councilman gets to appoint a voting Board member for a four and one-half year term. To me this is an “in your face” act to the people of District 7 who overwhelmingly voted out the now lame duck member. Would it not be more appropriate to have the terms run concurrently with the Councilperson’s term? That was the newly elected Councilman could have some input into the economic development process. Because of recent events in appointing the Board and the apparent confusion among the Council and House Member I believe Council should take another look at the Ordinance and make some much needed changes before going forward.
Charles E. Curry
Letter To The Editor: Public-Private Partnership Board