Argues mayor, Town Council made improper vote
To the Editor:
At the Nov. 26 Town Council meeting, Mayor Pete Bass and certain members of the council acted contrary to their previous commitments to you and the Community Center Committee.
Then they sealed it with a vote that was handled improperly, after Mayor Bass was too timid to cast a “yes” or “no” vote or at the very least to abstain.
Since June, the Town Council had requested a professional survey regarding the possible configuration of a community center.
Concerned about survey bias, Council member Katy Francis was an early advocate of a professional independent study. Mayor Bass told the Community Center Committee he would support the professional survey, as well.
But everything changed last Monday. After a long discussion, the vote to provide funding for the survey was a 4-4 tie. Katy Francis voted “no,” despite her earlier advocacy.
The rare tie vote left Mayor Bass to break the deadlock. After roughly 40 seconds of struggling to make a decision in public, Mayor Bass voted to “table” the motion until the Dec. 10 meeting.
Mayor Bass’s decision not to make a decision actually caused the proposal to fail.
Mayor Bass, according to our charter, could only vote “yes, no, or abstain.” The motion was not to table funding the study until the next meeting, so his vote was out of order. Therefore the 4-4 tie remained and the vote to seek funding failed.
If you don’t want to fund a project, don’t spend months saying the opposite. And please follow Robert’s Rules of Order and our town charter the next time you want to avoid making a decision.