Six complaints is no basis for an ordinance in Granby
February 27, 2008
To the Editor:
Anyone who knows me knows I am a person of few words. However, the recent letters have provoked me into a verbose state.
I just finished reading Mayor (Ted) Wang’s letter rebutting Patrick Brower’s letter, calling it a diatribe.
Let me start by saying this ordinance is absurd. The single motivation Mayor Wang cites for having this ordinance drawn up is “half a dozen or so people over the last couple years”. You mean to tell me that six people complain over a two year period and it gets to the state of being implemented in an ordinance?
I bet far more than six people have complained about: local taxes, snow removal, road conditions, recreation, government spending, pollution, recycling, leash laws, beetle kill, fire hazard, health care, public transportation, dog poop, water quality, speed limits, 6th Ave/Cty road 60/Hwy 40 intersection, town hall cost, fire hall cost, too many executive sessions, recall elections, recycling, curfews, concrete plants, bulldozers, farmers market, alcohol, poor communication, lack of support for local business, unfair business practices, zoning, nepotism, favoritism, corruption, gravel pits, etc.
Have all these been drafted into new ordinances as well?
I will be the first to admit I am no expert on public policy. However, it would seem that plenty more than six have been happy that we have had these businesses over the same couple years. That is my simple understanding of public policy: policy by and for the public.
If it is public policy that we are making, how do six people over two years represent the public? Many more than six patronize these businesses, yet an ordinance gets drawn up banning them. I must have missed something.
Is this a freedom-reducing move on the part of the town, where they potentially have the ability to escalate some future infraction, to the point where an existing business can be denied?
Furthermore, this is a typical response from Mayor Wang. I have seen several times where his POLICY is criticized and he immediately cries foul, stating that personal attacks are non-productive and have no place in the public policy process.
I admit that parts of Patrick’s letter flirt with emotionalism; however, the purpose was clear. People in the public eye need to get over this sensitivity ” you will be criticized, scrutinized, and in some cases attacked. It is part of the job, just as the operators of water treatment facilities deal with undesirable parts of that occupation.
Rise above and separate the good from the bad, the fact from fiction, the substance from the emotion.
People who have the creativity, dedication, knowledge and work ethic to make a business go in the current economic environment should be commended rather than scrutinized by policy makers attempting to legislate morality.
Why does local government desire to create an unfavorable environment for these businesses? It stands to reason that the businesses that continue and even flourish are the ones that are supposed to be here. The free enterprise system and competition will select who and what “belong” on main street.
It is my belief that the current situation requires a large dose of creativity, innovation and fresh thinking, and as soon as some daring individuals step up and show the rest of us that it can be done right here in Granby, we propose an ordinance to ban them.
The current atmosphere requires leaders who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing ideas that clash with comfortable customs and beliefs.