This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or email@example.com.
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Lots of talk on the courts, but not sure if we’ll see action tonight
Council members just got out of an hour-long work session (the last part of which was closed to the public), most of which they spent talking about the courts. There is a possibility they will delay their vote on whether to keep moving forward with their current plan for new court facilities on Princess Anne for another month. Here are a few excerpts from the discussions upstairs:
Kerry Devine: "If we put the project off and it’s removed from our control, … there’s no way it’s going to be less expensive. … This is not a wish-list project. The judges have been very clear about where this is headed."
Matt Kelly: [Doubts what city officials have been telling council members--that the city would lose control over the project if the courts order it.] "We need to stop talking about the issue of losing control or not." He said the only way he sees the city being able to afford the project is if it gets stimulus money for it from the Obama administration. Otherwise, "Right when we’re starting to come out of this [recession] we’re going to be facing the debt service on this and we’re not going to be able to dig ourselves out of this hole."
George Solley: "If we do it now, it’s taking a chance. If we don’t do it now, it’s taking a chance. We are going to have to pay for it ultimately. … We ought to make that clear and not give the idea that if we wait, we won’t have to pay for it. … We will have to pay more for it."
Circuit Court Judge Gordon Willis is here tonight, and will apparently speak (though council members weren’t sure he’d take their questions). Check back for more as the night goes on.
IN OTHER NEWS… The City Council has appointed Tonya Lacey, a city employee in the Planning Department and City Manager’s Office for the past 17 years, as the new Clerk of Council.