The early days of the new administration were dominated by a pressing need to determine major projects in the form of the Metro extension, New Street Station and the new city library.
After 24 months, none of the big-three has been completely resolved due largely to the difficulty of funding such significant capital schemes.
The way these matters were dealt with, or some would argue were not dealt with, became a defining moment for the coalition. Even today, council leaders are being forced to deny the accusation that they simply cannot make their minds up about any item of importance.
The disclosure that yet more uncertainty surrounds plans for the relocation of the Birmingham Central Library has left Labour councillors scarcely able to believe their good fortune. We can expect jibes of "dithering" to ring out at the next city council meeting.
The coalition's first 21 months were dominated by the library saga with the cabinet rejecting a proposal for a £179 million library designed by Lord Rogers at Eastside, which was inherited from Labour.
An exhaustive assessment process concluded that no funding was in place, or had even been applied for by the previous administration, and the council could not afford the cost of Rogers' elliptical build-ing. The risk of failing to acquire Government grants was too great.
Council leader Mike Whitby threw his weight behind a controversial £147 million split-site scheme, with the lending and reference library to be housed in a new building dubbed the Knowledge Centre in Centenary Square and an archive and family history centre to be built next to Millennium Point.
Other possible locations, including Baskerville House and Curzon Street Station, were rejected as was the suggestion that the Central Library should be refurbished and enlarged.
Final cabinet approval was given on March 20, but only after a damaging scrutiny committee inquiry which found that the decision to build a split-site library was based on deficient information and did not properly take into account building costs.
The scrutiny report concluded: "How robust is the estimated £42 million cost of the archives and family heritage centre at Millennium Point, since no specific floor plan or design is available? Information about the design and costings of the split-site option is not detailed enough to dispel most people's instinctive reaction that one building must be cheaper than two."
The committee sensed that the feeling of the general public, as expressed in letters to newspapers and in radio and television interviews, was that the library buildings would be dysfunctional. It would take at least 20 minutes to walk between the two sites, longer if laden with books.
It was apparent that little thought had been given to the design or concept of the Family Heritage and Archive Centre, apart from a hazy notion that it would link to a History Mile depicting the growth of Digbeth and the birth of Birmingham.
David Pywell, the council's strategic director of development, told the scrutiny committee that the heritage and archive centre would be housed in a "box-like
structure" at Millennium Point. Mr Pywell added: "Some people like Millennium Point and some people don't."
It is now clear that Coun Whitby's closest advisers are attempting to engineer a significant U-turn both in terms of presentation and location.
The double-S word has been banned, nobody in their right minds in the Council House refers to a split-site library.
The talk is of a new library in Centenary Square and a heritage and archive centre at a location still to be decided.
The archives may go to Eastside but all options are being kept open, according to Coun Whitby.
This is definitely not what the scrutiny committee was told nine months ago. And whatever happened to the Digbeth History Mile?
The latest thinking, that the archives may be housed in the former Birmingham Municipal Bank at 301 Broad Street, would bring the two parts of the new library complex within 200 yards of each other. An initial inspection of the former bank, however, has raised doubts as to whether the building would be large enough for a heritage and archive centre.
And, whisper it softly in the presence of Coun Whitby, but funding for the Centenary Square Knowledge Centre is yet to be identified.
The library saga has a lot of mileage in it yet, one suspects.