If you really wanted to get something done in Bristol the past quarter century, you got John Leone on your side. The former mayor, and former head of the chamber of commerce, has the tenacity and damn-the-obstacles focus to ram most anything through all but the stiffest of opposition.
So installing him as one of the seven directors of the nonprofit Bristol Downtown Development Corp. made sense. Leone wasn't the type to let a vacant lot sit around forever with nobody doing anything.
That's why it's disappointing to say the least that when the showdown vote finally rolls around, Leone opts to abstain. I'm still not sure exactly why, something about Renaissance wanting to help out the Boys and Girls Club, where Leone's also a director.
I don't quite get that. But if Leone says he has a conflict, well, that's that.
So it leaves the other six to decide between two competing developers, opening the door to a possible tie vote. And, of course, that's what happened.
Now it may yet get worked out at tonight's meeting. In the end, maybe, they'll flip a coin in a back room and come out united behind one or the other. That could happen.
But it's too bad Leone couldn't take part in a decision he's waited three years to make.
Sitting on the sidelines when the big game finally comes isn't the place to be, unless you're a spectator rather than a player.
And I always figured Leone for a player.
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Contact Steve Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org