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  • Monday, March 3, 2008 11:34am


Lawsuit payback a dangerous precedent

Fortunately, the recall petition against Mayor Bob Ransom and Deputy Mayor Maggie Fimia was withdrawn. Finally, the petitioners recognized that it was ill-advised to file this when the two objects of their recall would face the voters next year in the election process, assuming both ran for re-election. Additionally, this would have needlessly dragged out an issue that obviously had no life at least a month before the petition was filed in March. I agree with Mayor Ransom: I hope that no other attempts will be made.

Your article quoted Deputy Mayor Fimia suggesting that those who filed the recall reimburse the city for the cost incurred to defend the petition. Perhaps her rationale is that the proponents, in essence, conceded, similar to a court case where the loser pays the court costs. This makes sense.

However, it also makes sense that this proposed remedy be applied to those who sued the city over the first part of the Aurora project that’s presently under construction. In that instance, it’s just a start that an estimated 1.2 million dollars was spent on staff time defending the suit. In addition, taxpayers are paying inflated construction dollars since the project was delayed a couple of years; an estimate I recently saw for this was $825,000. Tack on the loss of economic development opportunities that may have gone elsewhere rather than wait for the issue to be decided. Lastly, the safety benefits of the project which, like at least some of the economic development opportunities, are lost forever. The above exceeds $2 million, yet it’s safe to say that no reimbursement will ever be made.

If there’s reimbursement to the city for all failed lawsuits and recalls, it could be quite a Pandora’s box that we’d be opening.



Disinformation is again being spread

I would never dream of denying Elaine Phelps expressing an opinion different than mine. During the 15 years that we’ve known each other one of the traits about her that I’ve admired the most is that she is a woman with strong convictions and beliefs. However, of late her opinions have been skewed and seem intended to smear Progress Shoreline and its supporters with untruths.

In her letter in the June 23 edition of The Enterprise, Ms. Phelps attempts to tie Progress Shoreline to the Aegis debacle. Progress Shoreline didn’t exist at that time and therefore played no role in that issue.

Next Ms. Phelps refers to the cottage housing ordinance. Again Progress Shoreline played no role in that either. Deputy Mayor Maggie Fimia was an early advocate for cottage housing, as was Dennis Lee of Concerned Citizens for Shoreline, and many others. In practice cottage housing failed to perform as expected due to the lack of accompanying design standards.

Regarding the third issue, the Aurora Project, there is a legitimate difference of opinions. I find it difficult to believe that Ms. Phelps supports maintaining a blighted business district at the expense of public safety. There is an average of one accident per day on Aurora and no provisions for pedestrians along either side of the roadway. Nearly every aspect of the project design is intended to improve safety; BAT lanes, controlled access to businesses, sidewalks, improved street lighting, coordinated traffic controls, and islands of refuge in the center medians.

If these improvements result in economic redevelopment, that is a side benefit. Improved storm water controls, street trees and planting strips all are environmental positives (pro-environment) that Elaine should be supporting instead of criticizing.




Run of the Mill can inspire more good

So many requests for good causes fill my mailbox, it’s difficult to prioritize them, satisfy my conscience, and stay on a reasonable budget. Thanks to Steve and Linda Knox and all the folks involved in our new Run of the Mill, including those at the Mill Creek Enterprise, one decision is easier for me. The Run entry fees will be donated to the Lance Armstrong Foundation and my favorite local tradition, which encourages exercise, will be continued.

I’ve had three “adventures” with cancer. Surviving, recovering, and living to be 80 is partly luck and good care, but I also credit wonderful support from family and friends as well as exercise, especially running, which is so simple in Mill Creek. I run for endurance. I’ve solved problems, coped with grief and anger, organized my thoughts, and found the right words while running.

This year, a daughter and granddaughter may join me in the event. I hope I can encourage others, all ages, to join running or walking the route. The Web site is www.mcrunofthemill.com. Maybe they’ll all celebrate at the finish line. Maybe they’ll make donations or become sponsors of this good cause.


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