City Council Doesn’t Discuss Northwest Side Development Moratorium

Using a tried and true tactic to stifle debate Shepley told those wanting to talk about both the moratorium on development on the northwest side of Crystal Lake (where the sewers don’t work) and the watershed manual they had to wait until the agenda item was being discussed.

I don’t know why the item was on the agenda, but it probably had something to do with the sewers not working on Route 176.

Upon reaching the moratorium item, the mayor then told of a so-far-unreleased legal opinion. (You could file a Freedom of Information request for it, Shepley said.)

It came from absent city attorney John Cowlin. It said the city couldn’t put a moratorium on development in just one part of town.

It was an all-or-nothing proposition.

The council agreed.

So, no discussion.

But, Shepley did allow John Drager to say something from the floor. No one watching the recording on TV could hear…as Councilman Jeff Thorsen pointed out.

“You’re circumscribing your ability to act in one, but expanding them in another way,” Drager said, referring to how the watershed manual would allow more development in the watershed. (He said more, but I was taking pictures and didn’t get it.)

“That’s a fair question…but I think this is different,” Shepley replied.

“Public comment at this point would be fruitless,” he added.

He explained no comment would be allowed by basically saying that he didn’t think people should waste their time talking about a nullity.

Talking could have no effect, so it would not be allowed.

“No person should be required to participate in a futile act,” said Shepley as he moved the meeting on to the watershed manual.

This so, so reminded me of how Shepley kept me from speaking on the Tax Increment Financing projects.

When I got up to talk at the beginning of the meeting, I was told to wait until the council reached the TIF agenda item.

But, at that time, the council deferred consideration until another meeting, so there was nothing to discuss.

You can see why I think he was trying to stifle debate on the problems in the northwestern part of Crystal Lake.

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