Dear Decaturish – John Ridley is wrong about the Callaway property
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I just received a postcard in the mail from John Ridley’s campaign that is headlined “Tony Powers Supports Reckless Development.” It contains the statement, “Tony Powers, as Chairman of the Decatur Planning Commission, has irresponsibly voted for selling the City of Decatur-owned Callaway property.” That statement is totally and utterly false. I am currently the Vice-Chair of the Planning Commission and have served on that commission for the past four years.
For someone who was once a member of the Decatur City Commission, Mr. Ridley must know that the Planning Commission has no input on the question of whether city owned property should be sold. Our function, among other things, is to recommend to the City Commission whether certain proposals to develop property located in the City should be approved by the City Commission. We have no final decision making power. We can only make recommendations. Mr. Ridley knows this, as he has been to several of our meetings at which this point was made repeatedly. The decision to sell the Callaway Building property to a private developer was made by the City Commission long before the proposal to develop it into a mixed use complex ever came before the Planning Commission.
For Mr. Ridley to make the above statement about Mr. Powers, which he must know is totally false, so close to election day should tell the citizens of Decatur all they need to know about what kind of City Commissioner he would be. The kind that thankfully we have not had to endure for a long time and hopefully, won’t have to endure during the next four years.
Mark G. Burnette