I would like to respond to Roy's diatribe on the meeting he didn't attend at the LMS this past Thursday. We all know Roy would never let the facts get in the way of any of his long-winded but prosaically challanged mini-sermons. Therefore, as the author of the petition to stop the zoning change request, I will provide a factual, but brief retort.
The Verlenden Park was established by the residents and the town to cover a debris-laden gulch. Mrs. Lane Verlenden and her late husband dragged their hoses across the street to water the trees after the garden club had planted them many years ago; thusly attatching their name to this location by default. After speaking with Mrs .Verlenden and over 100 other neighbors about this proposal, I can bring forth the concensus that we don't want "progress" at the cost of our green space.
Roy is right on one point, there are several other parks and green spaces on Lookout Mountain. It is this tranquil and bucolic scenery that makes our mountian special. However, one cannot take their dogs to the commons and train them as there is a posted ordinance against dogs. One can't play football or frisbee on the little corner park at Wautauga and West Brow or the triangle park farther up the street - there is a stone ditch in the middle. Heaven forbid you attempt to teach your grandchild to ride his bike on the park across from the Incline - it's as steep as a horse's face.
My point is, people do use Verlenden Park for these activities and more every day, and its flat green expanse is an asset to our town.
I would welcome a creative and progessive plan to revitalize the small commercial district here, the zoning and planning of which was established in 1954. The plain brick buildings and dangerous parking out front are not condusive to commercial vitality. Perhaps we need to hire a city planner with actual experience in helping small communities. Maybe that study or plan could guide us in the best direction.
I suggest all constituents get invoved and give their opinion to our elected representatives. They are here to represent the people's best interest, not the poorly planned wishes of a couple of folks who are used to getting their way anytime they want something.
Oh yeah, and Roy please re-study your eighth grade civics books and learn how a representative republic functions. Though flawed, it's the only system we have to work with and the people have the right to be heard.