Thursday, June 30, 2016

Democracy? What Democracy? Get Ready for a Meyer Waiver

UPDATE: On the Facebook "Cary Connection" Page, it was stated that the Meyer waiver vote is "not expected" to be on the agenda for July 5th. The agenda will be published sometime in the afternoon of July 1.

UPDATE 2: A vote on Meyer Material is not on the agenda for July 5. Meyer can still be discussed in the Administrator's report.

Trustees at the last two Village of Cary board meetings had lively discussions about the fate of Meyer Material.  Those who voted yes to the extension want to give Meyer another opportunity to present their plan to the Zoning Board. They cite "new evidence" as a justification to waive the required one year "cooling off" period.

They even presented what a new proposal "might" look like at the last Village Board meeting. Keep in mind, this proposal was not written by Meyer, but by the Village:

In order for Meyer to be able to submit another proposal to the Zoning Board this summer, the village would have to waive the 1 year requirement.  As Trustee Kraus so plainly stated at the June 21 meeting, "We've already voted." Why would they want to do this?

Simple:  They want a "yes" recommendation from the Zoning board so that the mayor can vote at the Village level. That way they can overcome the three "no" votes.

Two Village Board meetings ago, Trustee Dudek lamented the fact that the Meyer proposal they voted on was not the same as what was presented at the Zoning Board in February. Given that, he argued, Meyer should be allowed to present that plan back to the Zoning Board. He and the Mayor expressed a belief that Meyer--"a good corporate citizen," they added--was not being treated fairly.

This is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to circumvent the system and get another vote. I am sorry, Trustee Dudek and Mayor Kownick--the system worked just as it was intended:

1) Meyer presented a plan to the Zoning Board in February
2) The Zoning Board gave a "no" recommendation
3) Meyer adjusted their proposal for the Village Board meeting of May 17
4) That proposal was defeated 3-3. The Mayor was prohibited from voting in this instance due to the negative recommendation from the Zoning board.

Done and done.  Or so we thought.

Now we have a new Zoning Board. Shortly after that vote in February, Zoning Board Chairman Joe Tournier was basically fired by the Mayor.

Now, with a new Zoning Board, the mayor wants to start the whole process over so he can vote and reverse the outcome. In other words: DEMOCRACY BE DAMNED!

The fact of the matter is this: Meyer screwed up. They went into the meeting in May thinking they were going to sail through. They didn't present a plan that gave enough back to the Village and they lost. End of story. They can present a proposal again. But they have to wait a year just like everybody else.

But that's not enough for Mayor Kownick, Trustee Dudek and the other two trustees who voted yes. They didn't get what they wanted so they want to re-do the vote.

Nice. And this is why people do not trust government.

Although the agenda for the next meeting has not been released, I suspect that the Meyer waiver vote will come at the July 5th meeting. As has been done now a few times, important votes have been scheduled for this meeting after the July 4th holiday--A day where they will get less attendance.

Its been done before and so the pattern continues.

More to come.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Just when you thought it was all over....

Last month, the Village of Cary denied the extension of mining to Meyer Material in a vote 3-3. The mayor was not allowed to vote and, because the Zoning Board did not recommend the extension, the vote needed to be a super majority. A special thanks to trustees Covelli, Krause and Cosler who voted "no" because they listened to the residents of Fox Trails.  That was not an easy vote for them and they need to be commended.

However, it is not over. This week, Meyer was brought up again by Trustee Dudek who read a statement in which he expressed a belief that Meyer should be allowed to resubmit their proposal to the Zoning Board. His reasoning: the proposal that the board voted on was not the same as the one presented to the Board. However, according to the rules, Meyer cannot reapply for a year, in what is called a "cooling off period."  Dudek suggested that the board waive that requirement.

Trustee Cosler rightly called such action as a "backdoor method of getting it reheard."  The mayor was obviously upset by the vote last month and wants to have the matter reconsidered. He said it was not fair to treat Meyer in such a way. I guess in his mind it is fair to treat the residents this way, but that's beside the point.

Here's what is going to happen:

1) Meyer is going to continue mining through November. They have made their first $100,000 fine payment.
2) Meyer has been in conversations with Village Administrator Clark
3) The Village will put on an agenda to vote to waive the time period in which Meyer can resubmit a proposal.

Stay tuned for that. It will probably come at the traditional low-turnout board meeting on July 5.

See the video below. The Meyer portion starts at 57:44.

Looks like we are going to go through this whole thing again.

Does Meyer have the right to resubmit a plan? Absolutely. But the rules state that they need to wait a year.

Dudek and the Mayor seem to believe that the proposal that they voted on needed to be the same as the proposal offered to the Zoning Board. That is simply not true.

The system worked. The Zoning Board did not recommend the extension. And, as is the reason for a zoning board hearing, Meyer revised their plan for the Village Board vote.  The Village Board voted no.


But apparently the democratic process is inconvenient to certain members of the Village Board and this is likely to start up all over again.

Stay tuned. The drama continues.