The meeting was set for 5 p.m. Thursday, but Eicks and the six other council members who voted against Smith's Fast Forward plan in March did not show up for the meeting. Russ Willis and Ty Bibbs were the only two council members who showed. They also happen to be the ones who voted in favor of both of Smith's annexation proposals last winter. Councilman Rodney Chamberlain voted last winter in favor of the southwest annexation but against the northeast annexation.
Eicks complained Thursday that Smith hadn't checked with council members to make sure they could attend that afternoon's meeting. Smith countered by noting that Eicks was well aware that the meeting was necessary to stave off the Lapel strip annexation and contended that it's the responsibility of council members to work such important meetings into their schedule.
Perhaps Smith should have had the foresight to schedule the Thursday meeting (which he announced on Tuesday) further in advance. But, yes, Eicks and others could have, should have found a way to be there. That is, if they planned to give true consideration to another annexation plan.
Eicks said Tuesday that he was eager to learn about the mayor's new annexation plan. But then he couldn't clear his schedule to show up for the meeting. That's not good leadership.
It all amounts to bad politics.
What would good politics look like in this instance?
How about Smith and Eicks sitting down together behind the scenes and coming up with an annexation plan that they can both agree to and that would have significant benefits for the city of Anderson? They could both come out of such a collaboration as champions of the community's future — and, for their political benefit, could point henceforth to the Anderson annexation of 2013 as proof of their willingness to collaborate across the partisan divide for the sake of the city.