Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Nazareth Councilman Quits Amid Controversy Over New Government Center

The green space gobbler is gone!

J. Michael Davis, driving force behind the folly to relocate Nazareth's government center to a local park, surprised us all tonight when he abruptly resigned his position on Borough Council, a position he's held for eleven years. He chaired most of the closed door meetings that supposedly reviewed at least nine or ten options for a new municipal center. Davis had boasted (or complained) in previous council meetings that he had spent hundreds of hours in this mysteriously secret review. But in his letter of resignation tonight, he made no mention of the controversial proposal. Mr. Davis did mention his four children, seventeen grandchildren, and his interest in Habitat for Humanity. I wish him the best, and hope he has time to enjoy his grandchildren. He might even consider taking them to Nazareth Hall Park.

Davis' resignation is a serious blow to those advocating a new municipal center at Nazareth Hall Park. Council now has thirty days to fill Davis's seat and will publicly interview interested applicants on September 28. They've decided to suspend all consideration of any new municipal center until then.

But no matter how many new faces, Borough Council will continue to face a distrustful public until they change their attitude about the Sunshine Act.

Wednesday Update: At last Thursday's Council meeting, Nazareth Borough Council members repeatedly told borough residents that it had considered no options for a municipal center expansion since the previous meeting, nearly one month before. In denying there had been any meeting or discussions, Councilman Bowers testily told one constituent, "What part of no don't you understand?"

But Council members had a different story for Express Times reporter Courtney Lomax. They told her they're "still looking at other options," including a real estate purchase. Davis is predicting a near unanimous vote on this latest proposal.

So what is it? This is the kind of thing that happens when municipal bodies meet too often behind closed doors.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you going to apply, Bernie?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Nah. I could never do what they do. They have to sit and listen to jerks like me! Besides, I resolved many years ago never to seek public office. It would interfere with my writing.

Whoever does apply has to be a third ward resident.

Tonight an AFLAC duck was presented to Council and the damn thing remained when Council went into executive session. I think the duck has the inside track.

Anonymous said...

Quack! Quack Quack!!
I want to be a Councilduck!
Quack! Quack Quack!!

Anonymous said...

Quack, Maybe I will run for County Council! Quack Quack!
Do you think Ron Angle would eat me?! Quack Quack!!

Anonymous said...

Ron Angle might for fun, but I haven't seem him lately at Council Chambers.

What you would have needed to look out for, as a quaked up duck, was the snake.

Yes, in addition to the duck a stuffed snake was present Tuesday night prowling its corner of the room.

It was one 3rd ward citizen's visual reminder of Council's hidden meetings and it seemed the duck wasn't the only one who noticed it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I snapped a picture of both the snake and duck. But it didn't come out well or I would have posted both.

Anonymous said...

Eating Duck gives me gas

Lori Bernardo said...

Once again, proof positive that "honesty is the best policy".

Bernie O'Hare said...

Lori, That duck has fiunally shut up! Thanks for your comment. Yes, I think the statements made to Courtney are not the statements they made to us on Thursday.

Anonymous said...

Mr. O'H's remarks are rude, crude, and disrespectful. Like alot of "critics" he likes to stir the pot and then walk out of the kitchen

Bernie O'Hare said...

To Anon 10:38, I'm not aware of anything in this post that is either crude or rude. I do, however, think it is both crude and rude for Council members to say one thing to residents and something completely different to a reporter. But that's me.

As far as leaving the kitchen is concerned,I hate to disappoint but I'm still here. I'm not the one who moved the North Carolina.

Anonymous said...

Being "HERE" does not always guarantee positive and constructive thinking and action!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I never promised you a rose garden.

Anonymous said...

Would that you prefer planting weeds that choke ?!?!?!