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Letters to the Editor

June 17, 2005

NOPE not finished

To the editor:

Your June 14 editorial headlined "Two steps forward on growth" was obviously written through arrogance and/or ignorance.

Your editorial celebrates what you assume to be two defeats to McDonough residents who live on or near Parker Road.

The first "defeat" which you applauded involved a decision by a Superior Court judge in a lawsuit originally filed over the McDonough City Council's rezoning, in April 2003 of 99 acres along Parker Road for a high-density residential development. This planned development was not, and is not, consistent with the agricultural and low-density residential character of the surrounding area.

Your editorial stated, "The time for the concerned residents of Parker Road to try and stop the development was before the city council's re-zoning approval, not after."

The fact is that the organization which evolved into N.O.P.E. (Neighbors Opposed to Parker Road development) began several months before the McDonough City Council first heard this rezoning matter in December 2002. We were at this city council meeting, in large numbers, to express our opposition. The request for rezoning was not approved at this time.

After the then-developer sued the city for a re-hearing, the city council addressed the issue again in April 2003. We were also at this meeting, again in large numbers, to express our opposition. On this occasion, due to the fact that a member of the city council voted against his intentions because the content of the motion was not clear to him, the re-zoning was approved.

It was then, and only then, that the lawsuit which you claim "wasted time, energy and money" was filed against the city.

For the simple reason that the appearance of bulldozers on Parker Road was delayed for more than two years, we do not consider this Superior Court ruling to be a defeat but a victory.

Also during the past few years, various members of N.O.P.E. enrolled in various courses to become more informed about such environmental issues as stormwater runoff and water pollution, we assisted other neighborhood groups in becoming organized, we became both more knowledgeable of and involved in the operations of local governments, and we became involved with other issues to preserve and enhance the quality of life which we Henry Countians so enjoy.

One of those matters which you also applauded in your editorial as a "defeat" was the tabling of a scenic road - not "highway" as you erroneously stated - ordinance by the Henry County Commission. This ordinance would have helped to preserve some of the few rural patches of Henry County which have not already been lost to unregulated, uncontrolled growth.

Although you seem to consider this to be a "defeat," we members of N.O.P.E. do not. Through our efforts, Henry Countians are more aware of the need for such an ordinance, and it is very likely that this ordinance will become a part of Henry County's future land use plan.

Your editorial carries the assumption that we members of N.O.P.E., both collectively and individually, should simply shut up, roll over and play dead. That, however, is not what we intend to do.

We members of N.O.P.E. will continue to be involved with and to participate in local affairs and to serve as watchdogs over local developers and local governments.

That is, in fact, a responsibility of local news media including the Herald. Unfortunately, your newspaper has abdicated its function of being a watchdog. Instead, your newspaper has chosen to become a lapdog for the developers and governments over which you should be watching and about which you should be informing the public.

JAMES R. STANTON

McDonough

Obey the

speed limits

To the editor:

I would like to tell the person to slow down that hit my dog on Leguin Mill Road on Monday, June 6. In case you don't know, the speed limit is 35 mph. Next time it could be a child. If that were to happen, would you leave the scene of the accident as you did in this case?

I would like to thank my neighbor, Deah Harris, for saving my dog, and Bethlehem Animal Clinic for helping as well.

KATHY COBB,

McDonough

Thanks to

four great men

To the editor:

Good morning, Henry Countians, let me tell you a story, a story about four great people. The reason I want to tell you this story is because my late father and my grandfather moved to Hampton in 1928. They used to tell me stories about great men and great women of Henry County. I really enjoyed hearing them, so here I am in Hampton just trying to keep up the family tradition.

The story begins on June 7 at 7 p.m. I attended a Hampton City Council meeting. I walked into the council chambers, picked up my agenda, sat down and began reading it. I realized that it had some controversial issues on it. Well, guess what folks, about halfway through the meeting, Hugh Lewis, the mayor, and Mike Tomarchio, a councilman, stood up, refused to vote on a very important issue, and walked out of the meeting. I was shocked, but I shouldn't have been, because both of them have done the same thing in a couple of other recent council meetings.

Here's where it really gets good, folks. The other four councilmen remained in their seats ready to vote on the important business of Hampton, but, because of these two unconcerned city officials who walked out, proceedings ended for the evening. But, let me tell you, folks, I witnessed four great men remain in their seats, and in my eyes they stood tall. They showed courage and bravery to all the people in Hampton, because they did not walk out.

Who were they? The honorable Mr. Henry Byrd, the honorable Mr. Ed Hendry, the honorable Mr. Paul Jones, and last, but certainly not least, the honorable Mr. Arley Lowe.

Me and the rest of the people left for the evening. I took my sweet wife to Waffle House for some supper, boy, was it good. I really hope my letter is printed in the Henry Herald, it's my first one in the 52 years I have lived in Hampton, which is all my life.

Some of you avid readers might recognize that these four gentlemen represent the Side 2 in Hampton. If I may, I would like to make a public statement to these gentlemen: Thanks, guys, for taking the time away from your families and doing a great job representing me and my family and all of the good people of Hampton.

BILL DODGEN

Hampton