Impressions: my first Decatur City Commission meeting
So last night I got my first taste of City of Decatur politics.
It was more “Parks and Recreation” than “House of Cards.” Some of my takeaways:
– The small-town feel of Decatur isn’t a put-on. In many ways, the City Commission meeting reminded me of attending small-town city council meetings in Alabama. The City Commission dais sits on a raised platform under a proscenium arch. It looks like it could stand in for local theater productions. The Decatur City Commissioners are congenial. They are not passionate orators, not that they need to be. I don’t know why this surprised me at first, but it did.
– The public comments have no time limit and that gets tedious in a hurry. After a while you get lost trying to follow it all.
– I’m used to city governments making strange proclamations and honoring random residents. I have to say, “National Payroll Week” was a new one on me. I’m still not quite certain what it’s about. Perhaps next year I can learn the true meaning of “National Payroll Week” after I’m visited by the ghosts of National Payroll Week Past, Present and Future. I can only hope.
– The YMCA rezoning passed. I learned a new expression from the neighbors living around the Y: “Institutional Creep.” I think the meaning of the expression has something to do with residents’ concerns about the zoning classification, but “Institutional Creep” also sounds like a type of person I should avoid.
Overall, the Decatur City Commission was orderly, functional and non-controversial. It was everything reporters hate.