I have been away for a while and was unable to comment on the church/conditional use permit vote in the city council. For starters, they voted correctly in my view, and the vote was nearly unanimous. Of most interest to me was the vote of Alderman Greg Helding who just a day earlier was the spokesman for the city's position - throw the church to the curb, we've got better ideas. But when it came time to vote, Helding voted against his own stated position and the position of the economic development committee.
So what happened? Were Helding et al persuaded by the speakers during the public comment period? Are we witnessing a shift in principles away from government edicts and towards greater economic freedom? Was the council feeling pressure from media sources outside the area?
My own theory is that there is no shift in principles. The council responded to pressure and pressure only, as they always do. Nothing has changed. If they can get away with it the next time, they will.
Of course Greg Helding and the other aldermen may use this forum to offer an alternative explanation for the about face.