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.