For fans of reality television, Monday night's meeting of Warren City Council provided a rich experience, loaded with figure pointing, heated exchanges and hotter tempers.
For those looking for a good documentary, the show was pretty hollow.
Of course, the catalyst for the drama was the mystery and intrigue surrounding the ill-fated Allegheny Center for the Arts building project.
Did council get to the bottom of anything other that its own standing in the eyes of its constituents? No. Did the mayor provide any concrete information on how and why GROWarren went belly-up, taking with it the promise of an interesting downtown development and Warren's confidence in how economic development is handled? No.
He promises he will, in response to a number of questions presented him by the current board of Warren Main Street, even if he has to schedule a special council meeting to do so. We'll take him at his word.
In the meantime, little seems to be happening with regard to the disposition of the former Roberti Building, other than the plywood front seems to be taking on new shabbiness.
The difficulty here stems from the public-private partnership that was GROWarren. In public-private partnerships, the private trumps the public in terms of legislated openness. As a private entity, it was not subject to the Sunshine Act or most of the Right To Know Law.
When the principals were asked for details on subjects ranging from the ACA building to the Black Window Project to the hotel and conference center project, the answers were conceptual cheers, sound bites without substance. "We're working on it" doesn't provide much information.