Anderson’s The Herald Bulletin ran a report today that the Madison County Council has determined to postpone deliberation on a Mounds Lake Commission which had been scheduled for discussion at its meeting this evening. The report indicated the CED’s Rob Sparks had requested the postponement because its Phase II feasibility study had not yet been completed.
Why did Mr. Sparks wait until the eleventh hour (i.e. until after the matter had been placed on the Council’s public agenda) to request postponement? Obviously, he has known that the study would not be complete (and the $650,000 public gift not fully drawn down until the end of the calendar year).
Almost anyone watching this realized that it would be grossly premature to form a Commission without first completing the feasibility analysis. But that is what the CED apparently was planning on. Mr. Sparks wanted these county and town councils to form a commission before they were even informed re the plan’s financial, engineering and environmental feasibility.
There are other possibilities. Perhaps the Council informally asked him to postpone it based on political reasons or on reasons pertaining to proper administrative/governance process. If I were a public official, with a sworn oath to work on behalf of the public interest, I’d be very hesitant to deliberate and decide on a publicly-impacting issue of this magnitude before all the studies and facts were made publicly available and with plenty of unhurried time to scrutinize and evaluate the information.
Perhaps the Indiana Finance Authority balked at reimbursing any subsequent expenditures on the $650,000 grant for the feasibility study if the CED prematurely pushed ahead with Commission formation.
Perhaps there were audit or legal questions about that aspect.
Or perhaps Mr. Sparks is just employing tactical or PR maneuvers of some sort. Perhaps it’s just better public relations to pronounce and publicize that the report should be completed before he asks councils to form a commission.