Layout devised by Council President Ray Blanco in 2007.
Is the late Plainfield City Council president Ray Blanco's ghost at work in the Council's new venue?
As the Council settles into its new venue after abandoning City Hall, where agenda-setting sessions had been held since the building was completed in the World War I era, the setting has begun to morph after just a couple sessions into a model sketched out by Blanco shortly before his untimely death.
Supremely annoyed by what he considered Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs' screwball grandstanding, Blanco had the seating in the City Hall Library rearranged to orient the Council in front of the Lies oil painting on the long wall, with the Clerk and staff and the Administration on wings projecting at either end (see sketch at top of this post).
Blanco confided to me that, in the fashion of 'robber baron' J.P. Morgan, he had two reasons for what he was doing -- a good one and the real one (see anecdote here).
Good one: it improves the functionality of the room and the public's ability to see and hear all Councilors. Real one: It got the Mayor as far as possible from him, short of pushing her out of the room.
At the Courthouse, the structure of the available space has morphed the seating arrangement to one nearly identical to Blanco's, a wide oblong with shallow 'ears' at either end.
Getting rid of the lectern which blocked the view of the Council at the first agenda session in the new space has improved the sight lines.
Now, if the mike situation could only be addressed.
Why couldn't everyone be miked with Lavalier mikes?
-- Dan Damon [follow]