CORRECTION Mayor Kant was not in California until Wednesday, he and Jennifer just skipped the Planning and Zoning meeting Monday night for no legitimate reason. Several employees have called the Eagle and informed us that the dynamic duo was in hiding. WOW what leadership.
An America in Bloom vanity award in sunny Southern California was the reason Mayor Kant and Public Works Director Jennifer Fidler were conspicuously absent at this week’s planning commission meeting entertaining the controversial Fly Creek Apartment deal for the sixth time. While Kant and Fidler, Sherry Sullivan did not make this trip, were wining and dining with the fawning politicians of coastal Arroyo Grande, the Fairhope Planning Commission sealed the fate of the dubious high-density project with a 4-2 vote. Their two votes, in lieu of Commissioner Fogarty’s absence, were crucial. However, the fact that the mayor turned his back on the citizens, the developers, and property owner, at the eleventh hour of this costly, tortuous ordeal speaks volumes about his character and even more about the near future of Fairhope politics. What is the mayor thinking? Fairhope came in second for the same award last year, out of three entries, think about it.
I attended the last meeting of the Planning Commission and watched the losing Mississippi developer plea to the commission, “Is this how y’all do people here in Fairhope?” I have to wonder what the developer thought when he saw the mayor and Fidler were absent at the commission meeting and if he knew they would be absent. Tim and Jen were literally California Dreaming on their dime. I guess in the end Tim felt it would be easier to receive another meaningless vanity award in Cali than to face for the sixth time the music back at home—where he was recently firmly rejected at the polls. The mayor has always enjoyed the perks of “being mayor,” but for him to tuck and run with a month to go in this fashion is questionable. What else is the mayor running from?
Living it up when you’re Going Down
Mayor Kant took one last vacation on our dime. I’m certain in his eyes it was a much-needed respite; After all, it has been a long 16 years of service to the people of Fairhope. Now, he has just 30 days left in office. In a month he will no longer be mayor. Karin Wilson will be Fairhope’s third mayor in 50 years. Tim has a month to prepare for a smooth transition of a half century of records, knowledge and know-how. Fifty years of best practices in local government will be passed along to Karin’s administration. I am unaware if the mayor is preparing for this inevitability, but it should be his biggest concern over his remaining days. There is much work to do. The party is over, Tim.
The mayor has two more council meetings and one planning commission meeting until he turns over the reins to Karin. What will he do to further tarnish his legacy before he leaves office? Erect a statue to him? There is not a single monument in Fairhope to Tim Kant’s 16 years as mayor. His name is not etched in stone. Do not forget that in his absence earlier this week the planning commission did pass the other questionable development projects. This gift will have to be dealt with by the new administration—and a new planning commission.
Per the city’s by-laws, Karin will be able to appoint a new planning commission. Despite this fact more than one commission member has insisted they intend to stay on the commission—regardless of the preference of the mayor. Councilman Boone has made it perfectly clear he is pro developer regardless of public opposition or lack of infrastructure. Developers need to pay for additional infrastructure needs as a result of their developments. Like I said, there is much work to do. The head of the snake has been cut off and the good ole boys have been given notice. The Tim Kant era is done. It is time for the City of Fairhope to move forward. In the next month it will take its critical first steps.
Francis P. Ripp
The P stands for Persistence!
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t beat City Hall! Or change the status quo
we,”the people” did it in Fairhope, Alabama!