Friday, August 21, 2009
Thoughts on the City Council Meeting regarding the Crum and Forster Building
A large group of Atlanta Preservation Center volunteers, former Atlanta Urban Design Commissioner, Karen Huebner, and I arrived at the City Council Meeting for its commencement at one o'clock on Monday. We quickly observed that we were about in the middle of the agenda so we optimistically thought that the Crum and Forster Building would come up in about an hour or so. To our surprise, there were approximately 30 people who appeared before the Council to give their two minutes of "public" comment. This should have taken about an hour, but it took about two hours. After that, a couple of items that had been "consent agenda" were pulled off and each item took about an hour and a half of debate. One of the items was the creation of Senior Judges for the Atlanta Municipal Court and the other was Atlanta's proposed daytime curfew law. So finally, about 5:45 the Crum and Forster Building was moved up the agenda thanks to the good graces of the Zoning Committee Chair, Ivory Lee Young. Many of us in the audience were all prepared to make our passionate arguments on why the Crum and Forster Building needs to be designated an Atlanta landmark. No one from Georgia Tech Foundation was present. To our astonishment, a motion was made and seconded to adopt the ordinance, landmarking the Crum and Forster Building. Before we knew it, the question was called, the vote taken, and the ordinance passed unanimously 14 to 0. Democracy in action!