My topic this week is the Sandusky Bay Pavilion.
Last month, the city had a public meeting to gather ideas and suggestions of what to do with the pavilion. The group that wanted to see development was partially present and said very few words on the subject.
I recently attended the Bay Front Corridor meeting because they had the pavilion on their agenda; but instead, they made a motion to gather up a subcommittee consisting of most of their members volunteering to serve on the subcommittee to talk about the pavilion. So, why didn’t the Bay Front Corridor Committee discuss it right then and there at their regular meeting rather then form a subcommittee? What could be discussed in the subcommittee that couldn’t be discussed in the Bay Front Corridor meeting? The group missed two opportunities to discuss the pavilion ideas and suggestions in front of the public. It certainly doesn’t make any sense for the group to feel they had to create a subcommittee.
Commissioner Wes Poole made the following motion on July 22nd, which was voted on by the majority of commissioners: “To instruct the City Manager when inquiries are made about the Sandusky Bay Pavilion, to indicate it is not for sale and, further, the city is fully engaged with the National Trust for Public Lands to develop the property for public events and/or educational purposes.” I don’t understand the persistence of another group attempting to do something more than what the motion indicated.
I hope that if there are Sunshine Laws to be protected regarding the subcommittee that the city will take a proactive stand to explain the Sunshine Laws to the group so minutes of the meeting will be available and notification of the meeting is announced. If the Sunshine Laws don’t apply to the subcommittee, I think it is unfortunate to form a subcommittee for the sole purpose of keeping the pavilion discussions away from the public instead of discussing the topic out in the open where it belongs.
Until next week, I wonder if the Bay Front Corridor Committee didn’t over step its authority (Section 29 of the Charter) when creating a subcommittee without the consent of the commissioners, who have the power to set up committees and make appointments. The committees are public bodies acting in an advisory capacity with no authority to make decisions and their recommendations are to become part of the records of the City.