How we love Greg LeRoy here at CityBarbs! I’ve been working on this publication, yes, even before the Sunday comics. It’s called No More Secret Candy Store: A Grassroots Guide to Investigating Development Subsidies.
Here’s a piece.
But the greatest research value of the meeting will probably be in the drama: the power dynamics among the board members and staff [Ain’t that the truth!]. After the meeting, go for coffee and debrief, asking yourselves:
· Did the board members really debate the deal in the meeting, or had everything been “greased” ahead of time?
· Was this meeting accessible – in terms of time and place – to the people who will be affected by it the most?
· Who seemed to have control of the information? Staff? Only the chair?
· Who talked the most? The least?
· Who was absent?
· Did anyone even pretend to disagree on anything? [Wow, so he has visited DeKalb.]
· Who else was there besides board and staff? Developers and lawyers? [More than once.]
· Was there any evidence that the board is really encouraging public participation in its deliberations? Or discouraging it? How?
· How did the board members react to your presence? [Well, I sometimes get the poker face, the fish eye or the utterly amusing attempted stare down, though never ever by His Honor nor most of Council.] How many other members of the public were there?
TIF stuff starts on page 76 on your .pdf counter.
Hat tip and air kisses to the Internet Research Commandos.