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Bless our heart, under authoritarian rule, loyalty is regarded as more important than competence....

Abandoning input and planning

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Against the city’s welfare, new Greenville City Council members on Feb. 8 took an outrageous action for a very narrow vested interest. Here’s the full story.

Greenville Jobs Now Super PAC provided major funding for P.J. Connelly and council members Will Bell, Brian Meyerhoeffer and Will Litchfield. Against campaign finance law, this PAC hid donors during the campaign. We’ve since learned that Max Joyner and a small group of developers and landlords supported this PAC (The Daily Reflector, Jan. 14, 2018). Developers and landlords are important to our city, but government doesn’t need to be controlled by a very small group of them.

The council on Feb. 8, considered a request to rezone 1.416 acres at the northeastern corner County Home Road and Old Fire Tower Road from office-residential [High Density multi-family] to general commercial. The request was “not in compliance” with the Horizons Land Use Plan passed two years ago with massive public input and approval. The Planning and Zoning Commission had voted 6-1 against this noncompliant rezoning request.

Meyerhoeffer, Bell and Litchfield teamed with Rose Glover to abandon the Land Use Plan, trash the professional staff recommendation, and overrule the Planning and Zoning Commission. Staff said, “The requested zoning is considered undesirable and not in the public interest” and the rezoning doesn’t promote “the safety and general welfare of the community.” I suspect that over time, Mayor Connelly and the new members will also stack Planning and Zoning with members supporting their same narrow special interests.

The adage insists, “You get what you pay for.” We citizens have gotten what the Greenville Jobs Now Super PAC paid for. Gone are the days when a balanced council promoted quality growth that gave us quality of life and economic development. Evidently, public input and prior planning can now be abandoned at will.

Linda Leighty

Greenville

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