Monday’s Meetings

City Council Work Session

The Oak Ridge City Council held a work session at 5:30 with a formal presentation on the proposed SuperTarget shopping center atop Pine Ridge. Steve Jenkins’ powerpoint presentation is up on the City’s website, with a lot of really useful information about the expected impact, best and worst case scenarios, etc.

The President of GBT was on hand, saying that he doesn’t “go looking for mountaintops to build on,” and that the number of times they’ve asked for City assistance is very few — four, to be exact.

City Manager Jim O’Connor spoke at the beginning, noting that the City has already received some feedback. He reminded everyone that the City does not own the mall, and that the Wal-Mart covenants (along with those held by Sears, JCPenney, Belk, and Goody’s) are fairly restrictive, and wouldn’t allow for a Target in the mall area that most of us know as “Downtown.” That makes me think that most of the comments so far have been along the lines of “yes, we want a Target and associated shops, but we want it in the middle of town.”

Me too. But it doesn’t work that way.

Willie Golden raised a valid question: when Clinton was recruiting Aisan Automotive (what he referred to as “Asian,” but others pronounce as “I-san”), we, along with Anderson County, stepped up on short notice to help with incentives… even though the benefit to Oak Ridge was sort of minimal. It doesn’t seem unreasonable that Clinton and Anderson County — both of whom benefit financially, the County most of all — might step in and help with the $10M for this project.

An informal public information session has been scheduled for Monday, February 5, 5-7 p.m., in the multipurpose room of the Central Services Complex. Read through the presentation, and show up with any questions you may have.

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School Board

At last night’s School Board meeting, the new attendance policy (the 8th revision, I think, and at least the third to come to the Board) was approved on second reading, contingent upon revisions to the accompanying administrative bulletin.  My concerns with the original proposal were addressed to a great extent, although I will be paying attention to the implementation to make sure that we have not created inadvertent consequences. It’s part of the art of compromise.

The other item of significance was that we approved a calendar change for Oak Ridge High School, so that students will finish one week earlier (May 18 for seniors; May 25 for 9th-11th grades). THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO ELEMENTARY OR MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS — only the high school, for construction purposes… so if you have younger kids, don’t plan a vacation before June 1 (except for Spring Break, of course).

We’ll still be in compliance with State regulations regarding the number of days and hours of school, but if we should have more than two snow days, we could have a problem.

Let’s hope that both work out as planned.

One Response to “Monday’s Meetings”

  1. on 31 Jan 2007 at 9:31 am AT

    Man, I’d be mighty suprised if we got any out of city help for this thing, although I think it’d be a boon to the county, certainly, if not necessarily to Clinton.
    The only argument I’ve heard against it, talking to my peoples, is the whole leveling of the mountain thing, just on ecological grounds. Development is a bitch, to be sure, but I’m wholeheartedly behind this.
    Mountains grow back, don’t they?

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