A real stunner of a City Council meeting tonight. Much more will follow but it is late (are any City Council meetings not long and drawn out?)
To the surprise of the other Council members, Joanne Yepsen and John Franck recused themselves from any further involvement with the Saratoga Hospital expansion. This seems particularly bizarre because they have participated in the two previous (and very long) public hearings on the expansion. What suddenly prompted their action tonight is simply unknown. I will review the video tomorrow but Joanne Yepsen said that she either has had or expects to have Saratoga Hospital as a client. She is a consultant for fundraising. John Franck, as best I understood him, has been the accountant for the housing complexes by the hospital.
The City Charter requires that in order to pass legislation a majority of the Council must vote affirmatively. This means that any legislation must have at least three affirmative votes. Commissioner Mathiesen asked City Attorney Tony Izzo what would happen were he to recuse himself on this issue. Mathiesen noted that his father lives in Birch Run. Tony admitted that he really did not know. Nothing of this sort has ever come up. Commissioner Mathiesen then indicated that he did not plan to recuse himself.
Basically, if any of the three were not to vote for the Hospital’s PUD application, it would fail. My take on this is that Michele Madigan is very much in support of the hospital. It is unclear how the other two Council members will vote.