New Commission Kicks the Can

The new, streamlined County Commission showed off its stripped-down ways at its first monthly meeting Monday, rocketing through the regular agenda in under two hours. But, perhaps following the maxim about governing best by governing least, the 11 commissioners achieved this efficiency largely by not doing anything. Thorny issues including a proposal to limit severance pay for county employees and new regulations for flea markets were kicked down the road a month or two, a proposal for a new safety center to deal with mentally ill prisoners was recommended for further study, and an ordinance to punish businesses that employ undocumented immigrants was withdrawn altogether. Then Commission reconvened at 6 p.m. for the zoning part of its duties, where the major issue was the East County Sector Plan, with its long-contentious proposal for a new business park off Midway Road. The old lame-duck Commission had deferred the package over the summer, and the new one—at the request of Mayor Tim Burchett—followed suit, deferring for another 60 days to allow for still more public meetings. And just think, this Commission is only getting warmed up. By the end of the year, we fully expect a motion to defer all of 2011 until sometime in 2012.