Mayor Mike's Dinner With Council Conflicts With Gas Drilling Task Force Public Hearing

Mayor Mike Rawlings's office confirms: From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on August 2 he's throwing a dinner for the city council -- a sort-of get-to-know-me BBQ-flavored wingding in advance of the council getting back to work. Problem is, that conflicts with one of only two public hearings on the gas drilling task force's calendar: There's one next Tuesday, beginning at 7 p.m., and another set to begin at 7 p.m. on October 27 -- which is only a few days before the scheduled vote on the task force's recommendations concerning the city's drilling ordinance. (There's a public hearing notice posted on the front page of the city's own website.)

The task force is meeting at this very moment; we'll have Leslie's wrap-up tomorrow. Not sure if Sheffie's there today, but he hasn't missed a meeting yet. And gas drilling activists were hoping some on the council -- not to mention Mayor Mike himself, that maker of promises -- would attend the public hearing, if only to hear from, ya know, The People? But Raymond Crawford, the man who proved it is possible to fight City Hall, is hopeful this was just a scheduling snafu easily rectified -- benefit of the doubt and all that.

Says Crawford, yes, he's "disappointed," because "it was my hope that all city council members had plans to notify all of their constituents about this public meeting. I'm certain that this was a mistake on behalf of the mayor's staff getting used to his new schedule and not the mayor himself." We shall see.

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