I am a fan of the park and the vastly under-rated Zingo and hope that something can be done to either keep the park open in its current location or give Randy Bell enough time to move everything rather than be victim to the wrecking ball. That being said I doubt opinions fron non-locals will carry much weight. I'm not trying to discourage anyone from trying to help or voicing their displeasure, of course...just being realistic.
I don't know about that Mamoosh.....in the paper quotes from a lady out of Denver were published and they talked about how this decision affected more than just Tulsa County. Also the article on the news tonight talked about how the coaster Websites and blogs are bringing national attention to the situation.
Yeah, but if a significant portion of business (and therefore tax collars) come from non-locals (which I suspect to be the case to a certain degree), they might be willing to listen. Since this seems to be the only thing people can do right now, I suggest doing it if you want to see the park saved. And if you don't agree, then keep your mouths shut for once and let some of us engage in something we're passionate about ;)
When you have any kind of connection like that and you're in public office, you abstain from voting on those matters, especially in local government where everyone is related, sleeping together or knows each other.
They don't have to be. That transparency should be expected. When I worked in a school district one of the board members worked at the local hospital. Any time something came up regarding the hospital, he abstained from voting (like when they'd contract for athletic physicals).
In theory, yes. But in practice there are a lot of occasions in local government where conflict of interest is allowed to occur. Most times it's subtle and indirect.
We see it a lot of times when we submit plans to various townships. You can't prove it because they don't come out and tell you "we're not going to approve your plan because you bought the property out from under my brother-in-law." But they will tell you they're rejecting the plan because they feel you haven't adequately addressed their concerns about traffic or stormwater or whatever.
In the Bell's case, just from reading the articles here, this commissioner Miller seemed to be the most outspoken about not renewing the lease. Will she say it's because they're competing with the husband one of her contributors? No, but she seemed willing to do it on the grounds their financial plan is inadequate-- a burden they haven't seemed to require of any other tenant.
Trust me, smaller government units also don't want to get sued because they can't afford to defend themselves. I've seen in happen time and time again. That's why Wal-Mart basically gets to build where ever they want. It's one thing to have zoning on the books, it's another to deny development without reason.
Who said anything about Wal-mart? Sure the big corporations can throw their weight around and local governments give in. But I've seen local governments do the same against smaller businesses and individuals, few of whom could afford court proceedings against a local municipality.
I could tell you lots of stories about my own experiences dealing with clients and municipalities. There's also plenty of litigation across the state of PA as well between municipalities and landowners. (West Mifflin and Kennywood ring a bell?)
This isn't about that, but I feel some of the same principles apply. A smaller business (not Wal-Mart) is being ordered to open their books or lose their lease. Apparently no other tenant-- including the one that contributed to the Commissioner-- is being given the same order. Do you think the county is afraid of being sued by Bells? They probably think they can stonewall and wear them down until they're too broke to continue any legal action. Then they'll have to vacate, and the county gets what they wanted in the first place. And to top it off, they'll still insist they did nothing wrong or inequitable.
Actually, a lot of smaller municipalities are rallying against Wal-Mart building stores in this part of New Jersey, apparantly unhappy with many aspects of that stain on modern society. And it's not really limited to Wal-Marts, pretty much all big box stores are frowned upon in these parts nowadays.
Bottom line for me, with deregulation, the threat of lawsuits, and the new (improved?) rules re: eminent domain...there's been a revision to the Golden Rule:
"He who holds the gold, makes the rules"... ;)
If Big Box stores wanted to clean up their reputations, it really wouldn't be any more difficult than treating their employees like, well, like people...wouldn't hurt of they'd quit going into towns and making ALL kinds of demands about who should pay for what so they'll come in and "create jobs".
As IF....every company creates jobs....or is a one-man show....
*** Edited 11/17/2006 3:10:02 PM UTC by rollergator***