Monday, June 04, 2007

Who is Going to Vote with Summers? Who is Going to Vote for Summers?

Sean Braisted wades into the fray--launched by Intown Will--on John Summers:
this whole ordeal is a bit of a mess, and its in large part due to Councilman Summers. Now, if you want to promote this Overlay, that's fine...and if you want to recalculate the survey results to reflect residents, that's fine too...but at least put out the information prior to the debate on the Council floor .... But when Council members contact Summers to find out the super-secret details of this survey, and are told to wait until Tuesday, that just adds more logs to this already incendiary debate.
But that is exactly how Mr. Summers seems to want this issue.

He is like a gold fish inside of one of those take-home water-filled plastic bags; only the bag he is in is floating on a lake stocked with thick-whiskered catfish and trophy trout. As long as he stays in the bag, he is in control of his world and blissful in the appearance that the larger water world beyond those fragile walls is in his sway, but once out of his bag and subject to uncontained ebb and flow, he would have nothing to use against anybody.

The overlay is the only card he has left, and everybody from the sharp card-counter to the obtuse fly on the wall knows what it is. It is his last futile gasp of power, which really is not much of any power at all. There are already die hard overlay opponents on council who would not be persuaded by widespread community support; but the community does not support this overlay, a fact which is going to tip most everyone else against Summers (with the exception of those with whom Summers may have made deals).

Sean concludes that John Summers made a bad start with him in getting one of his at-Large votes. As far as I'm concerned, John Summers started badly more than a year ago and he has done nothing that would change my perception that his at-Large run is a joke in every sense. Seriously: who is going to vote for him? And what voter who has paid attention would vote for him after February 2006?

I guess that I can see a few of the hard-core, single-issue overlay proponents voting for him, particularly those conservation purists who appreciated his slimy, but self-defeating attempt to kill Mike Jameson's Westin/Lower Broad Historic Overlay compromise on a technicality. But he allegedly tried to barter his own support for a controversial Electronic Billboards Bill in exchange for Buck Dozier's support of the Sylvan Park Overlay (Dozier lost the billboard bill by one vote while Summers was outside Chambers bargaining for more support) and Summers voted in favor of Eric Crafton's English Only Bill. Summers is not a social conservative, so what base could he possibly have to mobilize for his at-Large run after those kinds of moves?

Despite the debate Intown Will started on whether Jameson or David Briley will vote for Summers' Overlay tomorrow night, the more interesting question is whether Eric Crafton will return the favor to Summers' for English Only. I don't totally buy Will's conspiracy angle involving Mike Jameson's possible support on third reading, precisely because of Summers' effort to kill the Westin Overlay Bill without a vote. Jameson's support of the Westin shows that he is pragmatic about what can be achieved and what cannot in these overlay debates; Summers is overreaching in Sylvan Park. Besides, Summers' naked attempt to torpedo Jameson allows the latter to support or oppose the Sylvan Park Overlay on the merits. As such, Summers is irrelevant, just as he will be in the August election.

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