For the past few weeks, the issue of the future of the Economic Development Commission has taken a primary focus for city politics. It began when the Mayor decided to make his only shuffle amongst his aldermanic appointments by (in order):
- Removing CCP Taylor from the Community Development Authority (CDA)
- Placing Economic Development Commission (EDC) Chairman, Alderman Skowronski, on the CDA
- Removing Alderman Skowronski from EDC and placing Alderwoman Wilhelm to take his place
Given that the EDC appointment would be Alderwoman Wilhelm's 5th commission appointment, she brought up concerns of being on too many commissions in comparison to other aldermen. Noting the EDC's ineffective past, she made it clear that before taking on any EDC appointment, two things needed to happen:
- The Council, at its Committee of the Whole, needed to discuss the future and the role of the EDC
- Wilhelm, if chosen to serve on the EDC, should be removed from a different commission, as 5 is over-the-top, on top of aldermanic duties and normal work to earn a yearly income.
For some reason, this has constantly triggered an at-times odd response from CCP Taylor, whom at the April 19th Common Council meeting questioned the delay of Wilhelm's EDC appointment and then began making reference that if Wilhelm didn't want to take on the EDC role, he would and then give the commission 6 months to right itself before he'd make any decision on whether or not to "implode" it.
CCP Taylor's position seems to have modified since April 19th, for at last night's Committee of the Whole meeting it was decided that the Council will have a motion available to act in regards to the City Attorney drafting a resolution to dissolve the EDC. Instead of 6 months to the decide on the EDC's fate, it's more-than-likely to be a mere 6 weeks. At the same time, however, some aldermen, including Taylor, are insistent that Wilhelm make her mind up on the EDC appointment regardless of the body's future.
Wilhelm's perspective seems to be the most logical at this point. Why take a commission appointment if the Council is aiming to authorize the City Attorney to draft a dissolution resolution for the very commission she's asked to be appointed to? It makes zero sense other than if a political rival wanted to distribute campaign literature at a future date and the EDC's demise would be labeled as her fault, since she would be one of two aldermen "sitting" on the body upon dissolution. Having knowledge of Franklin's political past and present, it wouldn't be surprising if this angle was taken.
But why would CCP Taylor take a leading role in putting what seems to be a longtime Council ally in that position? Is this a sign that the once "New Day" aldermen of Taylor and Wilhelm are no longer part of such a movement? It remains to be seen as to what actions are taken tonight, but it does look like lines are being drawn in the sand.