I was taken aback last night by council’s secretive review and approval of a development in the north part of town. It’s called ‘Age in Place’ and involves acres of town property. There is the prospect that it will add jobs and tax revenue to the town.

But the possible proposals were reviewed in the closed session of council earlier that evening and added as a last minute item to the open portion of the council meeting and then approved unanimously with no discussion. The only information that was provided to the public about the ‘deal’ arose because sitting in the audience I was making faces reflecting my outrage about the process and wondering ‘what the hell is this all about?’.

A discussion with town staff right after the council meeting provided little information about the process. I am following up on this and expect to provide more information in the days to come. I wonder if council and staff are not used to having town residents pay attention to what they are doing.

I am very, very concerned about the process used for the review and public discussion of this decision. This is a deal that was discussed, agreed and ‘cut’ behind closed doors. This is not the way that council business is to be handled if public confidence in council is to be maintained.

I’ll post my usual review of last night’s council meeting separately.