Follow-up To Ordinance 1450 … The Gloves Are Off & The Dust Has Settled. Now What???

So, Ordinance 1450 passed and all is right with the world … or going to hell in a handbasket … depending on who you ask.  It's been more than a week since the vote and my legs have just regained feeling from standing all night long listening to the comments.  Since the vote last Tuesday night I've gotten a number of emails from folks who, like I, were against 1450 and who wanted to get my thoughts.  What was I going to say??  It appeared to me that Council had already made up their minds and that nothing was going to be solved by the grandstanding that took place.  I thought it was GREAT that there had been so much citizen participation – for or against the Ordinance, it's our duty to speak out and there were literally hundreds that did it that night … some ad nausea, but they spoke nevertheless. 

Here's the thing … I'm not against the development but I understand some of the reasons people were upset.  "This is a big store, it's next to a school …"  Valid arguments, sure, but the way Town Council acted retroactively to block this portion of the development is, in my opinion, an inappropriate use of authority and, again in my opinion, a bait and switch as well.  That's the thing I find so distasteful in all of this, I think.  That and the use of children as props both before and during the session.  You can't tell me that an 8 year old knows what they're saying as they read a prepared statement full of not so subtle references to "The Evil Mart" and "cheap plastic stuff", or picket outside the Council chambers.  Excuse me as I spit …

While I was thrilled to see that kind of involvement in public policy, I found actions like using children to be deplorable, and was disappointed at some of the rude comments made both to myself and others who opposed 1450.  It became personal – there were some there who weren't there to speak out or support, they were there to be rude, obnoxious and degrading.  I was called stupid, a colleague ridiculed as he stepped to the podium, and I know others left because of the name calling they experienced.  That's disappointing – we're adults, let's act like it.  How did this become so personal?

I wish I could find Councilman Lancaster's comments at the end of the session – if you know where the video is, let me know and I'll embed it here.  The speech could be entitled "What I Have Learned" and was an equal opportunity woodshed moment, pretty balanced in its' venom.  Some have said there was a lot of grandstanding on both sides, which I would agree with.  This turned into a circus … as one individual said to me after the event, "the law allows people to protect their property when someone is taking outward action which will harm the property and saleability …".  They're right, the law does allow for that kind of protection, which only makes the future that much more interesting as now the law is being challenged and those who wrote the Ordinance are being sued.

2 thoughts on “Follow-up To Ordinance 1450 … The Gloves Are Off & The Dust Has Settled. Now What???

  1. Philip

    Thanks for an intelligent post on the subject. It is too bad that the voice of reason cannot by heard over the shrieking of activists and developers.

    I’ll try and find the video next week.

  2. Philip

    Thanks for an intelligent post on the subject. It is too bad that the voice of reason cannot by heard over the shrieking of activists and developers.
    I’ll try and find the video next week.

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