City, EDP talks poised to move forward
Thursday, February 07, 2013 10:00 AM
What we witnessed at Tuesday night's City Council meeting should be the beginning of the end of the contentious year-long battle over the fate of the city's relationship with Economic Development Partners.
The City Council voted 4-3 to create a memorandum of understanding of what is expected of EDP. That could lead to the city renewing funding to EDP that only a few weeks ago it voted to deny.
Why the breakthrough? Members representing the city and the EDP board of directors met to hash out some of the city's concerns.
That's good, but here's what we expect as the process moves forward:
The discussions between EDP and the city over items included in the memorandum must be done in a public setting. That should help to cut down on "individual interpretation" when information is conveyed second-hand.
Mayor Damon Welch and the full City Council must get on the same page. Discussion and dissent is good ... and so is compromise.
Madison, Jefferson County and Hanover officials need to embrace a unified economic development strategy.
Hightened public interest is good. We saw many new faces at Tuesday's council meeting. The burden to succeed goes beyond the work of public officials and the EDP board. We must have an engaged citizenry representing all sides of the debate.
Tuesday night was the first time we saw that kind of dialogue in a public forum.
EDP agrees that "part" of its meetings will be open to the public. We want a clear definition of what that means. Will EDP follow the state's Open Door and Access to Public Records laws to the letter? Or will the board apply its own definition? And, we do understand that some negotiations are appropriately done behind closed doors.
Mistakes have been made. There have been personal attacks. Let's put that behind us ... Not to forget what we learned, but to allow us to proceed.
It's time to move forward and Tuesday night was a good beginning.