A workday decision on over 1,300 new unitsCOLUMBIA, Mo 3/18/14 (Beat Byte) -- Columbia City Council members will decide the fate of 1,335 new student apartments in three different projects at a noon PUBLIC HEARING tomorrow (Wednesday).City manager Mike Matthes posted the agenda, on a page that until now has had no information about the upcoming vote. Tomorrow's meet -- at City Hall -- will be the second and final public hearing about the controversial developments.
It will also mark the second workday meeting about the student apartments in a week. Last Wednesday at noon, Matthes introduced the three development agreements without public comment, bringing widespread condemnation for failure to follow the usual Monday evening Council schedule.
"As the mother of a 15 year-old-son, I recognize the bum's rush when I hear it," First Ward Old Southwest resident Lisa Schwartz said at last night's first public hearing. "For the last hour, I've heard everyone say same thing: Process was not followed and there is a lack of confidence in city staff and the City Council."Matthes last night took sole credit for making the hasty arrangements. His exchange with attorney Jeremy Root about the order to schedule the rushed hearings turned testy after Mayor Bob McDavid declared Root "out of order" for asking a follow-up question as he stepped away from the podium.
"I want to clarify one thing: I did call for this meeting," Matthes told Root, after he had challenged the process.
"In what fashion?" Root asked.
"Verbally," Matthes quipped.As the 4+ hours of public testimony came to a close, Mizzou residential life director Frankie Minor made his third appearance before the Council, which considered each of the three agreements separately, as it will do tomorrow at noon.
"Please, please -- do not make any decisions until you believe you have all the information you need to make an informed decision that will have lasting impact on this community," said Minor, who lives blocks away from two of the three projects and spoke as a private citizen. "Please restore our faith in you."March 19, 2014 - 12:00 pm
Council Chamber, City Hall, 701 E. Broadway, Columbia, Missouri
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