When the County's CAO was appealed to the Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB) in June 2013, our Prosecuting Attorney's (PA's) Office defended the ordinance in front of the GMHB. I want readers to take particular note of the date. The GMHB hearings occurred during June 2013 ... after our new three-person Council took office. Our PA's defense of the CAO ostensibly took place under the direction of a different Council from the one that rammed the CAOs down our throats in its waning days last December. Our current Council has not passed any resolutions declaring its policy stance towards the new CAO nor directed the PA to defend any particular position regarding the previous Council's CAO work product.
Then, when the GMHB ruling came down in September 2013, it was the PA who issued a press release declaring the GMHB outcome to be largely a victory for the County. Again, there was no comment or resolution from the County Council.
Even though the GMHB ruling struck down parts of the County's CAO, the County did not file to defend the new CAOs in Superior Court (CSA and the Friends have filed suit with Superior Court). Again, there has been no comment or resolution from the County Council.
Last week, the PA's office opposed a Motion to Stay brought by CSA regarding enactment of the new CAO. CSA seeks to stay the implementation of the new CAO until the legal issues can be fully resolved by the courts. Along with the Friends, our PA's office, on behalf of our County, is opposing the motion. Again, there has been no comment or resolution from the County Council.
Let's review ...
- New Council takes over in May 2013. What do we hear from our Council about the CAO? ... crickets.
- The GMHB hearings occur in June 2013. What do we hear from our Council in terms of coordinating with the PA on a position regarding the CAO? ... crickets.
- The GMHB ruling is issued in September 2013. What do we hear from our Council? ... crickets.
- CSA and the Friends file to take the GMHB ruling to Superior Court in October 2013. What do we hear from our Council? ... crickets.
- Our PA files an opposition to CSA's Motion to Stay in October 2013 ... and so do the Friends. What do we hear from our Council? ... crickets.
With last week's opposition to stay, this Council cannot hide from the CAOs anymore. We already knew of Stephens' advocacy for the CAOs, since he voted for them. Now, we have to put Hughes' and Jarman's names alongside those of Pratt, Miller, Fralick, and Rosenfeld as those who are forcing a dysfunctional CAO upon us. Not even Pratt, Miller, Fralick, and Rosenfeld took court action to have the CAOs enacted, but last week, this Council allowed our PA to do just that. While our Council does nothing, Gaylord is making up County policy out of thin air ... and our Council sits on its hands doing nothing to stop it.
The CAOs have acquired several nicknames over the past few years ... Crazy Asinine Ordinance, Critical Agenda (21) Ordinance, Can't Avoid Obedience ... but under this Council, it might as well stand for "Currently Absent Officials." Despite the fact that the CAOs were a major election issue, this Council has done nothing about them, and in the resulting policy vacuum, our PA has been happy to act in their place.
|Who is directing our PA regarding the CAOs? Answer: Not our Council.|