Wilson response to Vice Mayor Povlin Letter
Last week, Vice Mayor (Louise) Povlin’s Letter (to the Editor) discussed the reasons for denying the Horne Properties development proposal on the (Former Mayor) Eddy Ford property.
Her article highlighted the protections that have existed in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan since 2012, namely the transitions policy on page 12. As Vice Mayor Povlin stated in her letter, “… high density multifamily was never going to be an appropriate form of the development between Park Place and Glen Abbey, regardless of the recent amendments to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan.”
Why then, only a few months ago, did the Board of Mayor and Aldermen insist on changing the CLUP and Mixed-Use Town Center zoning ordinance to “protect the existing neighborhoods” around the MUTC area? Last December, I asserted that these pending CLUP and MUTC ordinance changes were not required. The transition requirement and other protections had already been in place for eight years.
Vice Mayor Povlin’s latest comments affirm my assertion from December. Understanding all of this, we ought to question why BOMA insisted on these changes that specifically targeted the known Ford property development. As was requested, the Town should have paused and conducted the “significant public outreach” process to create a collaborative new MUTC area. Our community missed this opportunity.
In her final thought, the Vice Mayor states that you “should be concerned” of what she terms as “a private citizen advocating” for certain developments while battling against others. As U.S. citizens, we all have the First Amendment right to speak publicly and redress our government on community issues. The government should not infringe upon this right.
Additionally, elected officials should not use their official office or title in an attempt to limit or marginalize the speech of a citizen with whom they disagree.
Personally, I am not concerned with other citizens voicing their opinions even if I disagree with them. I am more concerned that our Vice Mayor appears to be attempting to limit or marginalize the speech of a citizen through her public comments as the Vice Mayor. This should concern all of us.
(Editor’s Note: Doug Horne is owner of Republic Newspapers, Inc., parent company of farragutpress)