Last Thursday (February 10th), the Danville city commission rejected a proposal to expand the Architectural Review Board district to include a small number of historic downtown residential neighborhoods. The vote was 3-2: Mayor Hunstad and Commissioners Montgomery and Gail Louis voted to reject the expansion while Commissioners Atkins and Caudill voted in favor of the measure:
Danville’s city commission, like many small-town local governments, is a non-partisan commission, and many issues related to running a small town are of a non-partisan nature. However, it’s often the case that voting blocs tend to form, even on non-partisan city councils.
In the case of the Danville’s commission, Atkins and Caudill are perceived to be more ideologically “progressive” than Hunstad, Montgomery, and Gail Louis, who campaigned last fall on their fiscally conservative “small government” credentials. This is reflected in the 3-2 vote, where Atkins and Caudill both supported a measure that would increase the bureaucratic jurisdiction of the Architectural Review Board and modestly increase restrictions on property owners in these districts. The three deciding dissenters, however, explained that they were not opposed to the measure in principle but requested that the proponents come back with a more detailed proposal.
I’m interested to see if this 3-2 vote is indicative of future similar ideological voting patterns by our new city commission.