Official: Turn-lane resolution ineffectual
Clintonville Area Commission District 3 representative James R. Blazer II has said he intends to re-introduce a proposed resolution at the July 12 meeting that would block a vote on a controversial turn-lane project until a lawsuit is settled.
He shouldn't bother, according to an assistant city attorney.
It just can't be done and wouldn't last if it could, according to a memo from Steve Dunbar to Isom Nivins Jr., the neighborhood liaison for Clintonville.
"An area commission cannot prohibit itself from taking future action," Dunbar wrote. "A resolution seeking to prohibit future action could simply be overturned at a subsequent meeting."
In the memo, Dunbar also addressed the issue of commission members potentially exposing themselves to legal action if they waded in on the proposed turn lane at North High Street and East North Broadway while a much-delayed lawsuit brought against the city by the North Broadway Street Association is pending.
Blazer, in his proposed resolution, cited that as one of the major reasons for approving the resolution.
"Area commissioners cannot be held liable, in either their personal or official capacities, for their votes," Dunbar wrote. "If a legal claim was brought against a commissioner for his or her vote, the city attorney's office would represent the commissioner ... Because there are no legal grounds for such a claim, we would ask the court to dismiss the case and order the person who filed the case to pay our expenses and attorney fees."
At their June 7 meeting, the six CAC members on hand deadlocked on approving Blazer's proposal. They then voted unanimously to seek the opinion of the city attorney's office.
The CAC should have nine members, but former chairman John DeFourny resigned May 16 and District 7's Dave Southan stepped down after losing his bid for re-election May 5.
Rob Wood, who represents District 1, was absent.