Tuesday, July 16, 2013

MedHab Followup Reveals Board Turnover

Curious how Assistant City Manager Michael Dane followed up on Councilwoman Charlotte Farmer's MedHab concerns from July 2, I went through the agenda and background packet for the July 10 Development Corporation meeting.

The agenda lacked Mrs. Farmer's MedHab concern regarding specific time frames associated with the various incentives provided by the City.  If a company didn't use the funds in an identified time frame, Farmer thought the monies should be reduced.  Dane said he thought those terms were in the MedHab contract and he'd follow up with the COSADC board on Farmer's concern.  That didn't happen on July 10.

The Board background packet showed MedHab had not received any economic development funds, outside free rent.  The packet showed MedHab reimbursed the city for water and electricity expenses incurred in their free office space.

I also watched the meeting on SATV and there was no mention of MedHab.  Surely, Randy Brooks, a MedHab investor, watched or later learned of Dane's MedHab update for Council on July 2.  What was apparent at the July 10 Development Corporation meeting were the number of new faces and the absence of leaders who'd approved the MedHab deal.

The Development Corp's top position of President was vacated with the eviction of Larry Teague.  First Vice President Chris Cornell was also gone, causing Scott Tankersly, Second Vice President, to chair the July 10 meeting.  Oddly, there was no agenda item filling officer roles or approving temporary appointments until the Board could elect replacement officers.

A third face, John Bariou, was missing on July 10.  This observation made my mind wonder as to why Bariou argued at the July 2 City Council meeting that Council had no vacancies to fill on the Development Corporation Board.  I found out Bariou remains on the board and was merely absent..

City Attorney Lysia Bowling told John that Council by appointment of a new person, vacated the old.  While I'm sure Council has that legal right, there was no public thanking of Larry Teague or Chris Cornell for their service on behalf of citizens.  It remains to be seen if that happens.

Another item from the July 2 City Council meeting was not mentioned.  Mayor Duane Morrison wanted a return to ethics standards for the Development Corporation to those in existence before January 3, 2013.  That was the date ethics standards were reduced for MedHab LLC. It remains to be seen if the Mayor's wish will be granted.

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