Read This Before the TIF Hearing

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.