by Lisa Sorg
Lawyers representing Fairway Communications, which wants to erect electronic billboards around Durham, visited City Attorney Patrick Baker today, according to an e-mail from Baker to city council members. He says the purpose of meeting was "to get more information regarding the proposal to better advise the staff and ... Council regarding the legal issues in this matter;" however, there is speculation the get-together was more akin to a lobbying push and that Fairway and K&L are leaning on Baker to exert his power as city attorney---even though he is not a policymaker or an elected official.
Fairway wants the city and county to amend its Unified Development Ordinance to allow electronic billboards to be erected in Durham. While Downtown Development, Inc. and the Greater Chamber of Commerce reportedly favor the change--DDI's board will vote on whether to endorse the plan in two weeks-- there is strenuous public opposition to the amendment.