Monday Aug 17 2009
Mayor cracks down on Endurance Committee
By: Jon Brines Journal Correspondent
Facing community outcry over miscommunication surrounding the Endurance Capital Committee, Mayor Mike Holmes has ordered a review of all the city’s committees and commissions. “They have been meeting more often but have failed to notify the city representative on the committee,” Holmes said. ”They have to understand they work for the City Council. They don’t work for themselves.” Endurance Capital Committee member Harvey Roper said there is a lot of misinformation circulating about the proposed Endurance Plaza within Central Square. The $2.2 million city redevelopment project at Lincoln Way and High Street will make improvements to the street and construct a walk of fame for Auburn’s endurance history, he said. Roper said he’s received a letter from an angry citizen regarding a rumor that the name Central Square will be retired. That is false, he said. According to city plans, Endurance Plaza is only a part of the larger Central Square that will retain the original historical name. Another concerned citizen, Mike Otten, the President of the Placer County Historical Society, said Auburn historians have not been consulted. “Some people were alarmed with Central Square,” Otten said. “There has been very limited information available to the public. We’ve let a lot of historical assets slip away and be denigrated without due input.” City Councilman Bill Kirby, who represents the Endurance Capital Committee, said plans for Central Square need more public input. “I think right now the entire subject is up for discussion,” Kirby said. “We need to have the community behind what is going on, period. If we’re doing something that is not palatable to the community then we’re making a mistake.” Earlier this summer, plans for an endurance mural for Central Square were put on hold until the Endurance Plaza proposal could be discussed by the council. Kirby said now the public needs to do its part by attending meetings and making their voices heard. “No one comes to the meetings and nobody talks to us, that’s a problem,” Kirby said. Sherri Shackner, Placer County Historical Society board member, said finding out when the Endurance Capital Committee meets has been a problem for her. “Nobody knows anything about these meetings,” Shackner said. “It’s all hush-hush. I called city hall and they didn’t even know.” Shackner said the public deserves more notice. She said critical information like the list of names of those to be honored needs to be made public so it can be discussed. “It isn’t right, how they’re handling it,” Shackner said. “Everyone is incensed because all of this should be public, not private.” Otten said as an official city committee, the Endurance Capital Committee needs to post its members, meeting times, agenda and minutes like all of the other civic bodies. “No one at city hall outside of the city manager, including members of the council, knew about the last meeting,” Otten said. Richardson said meeting times are physically posted outside city hall. Richardson said the committee plans to report to council as early as Aug 24. Any recommendation made by the Endurance Capital Committee would still have to be approved by the City Council, Holmes added. ---------- According to the city manager, the Endurance Capital committee members include; Harvey Roper, Lisa Kodl, Potato Richardson, Colleen Connelly, Cynci Calvin, Councilman Bill Kirby and Bob Montorri. Gordy Ainsleigh has yet to be approved by the City Council as a member. Shannon Weil is a former member who participates from time to time, Richardson said. Two vacancies are still available. ---------- Endurance Capital Committee meeting What: Another meeting to finalize recommendations for the Endurance Plaza pavers for council When: 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18 Where: City Manager’s office at city hall, 1225 Lincoln Way in Auburn The public is welcome to attend.