STOP!'s Proposals Clear and Straightforward

Letter from Kate Lowman

BY KATE LOWMAN SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION SATURDAY APR 1, 2017

The new buzzwords from STOP!‘s opponents are “disinformation” and “misleading.”  In the March 28 SRQ Daily, Ken Shelin went so far as to say STOP!’s leaders are “lying.” That’s a big word, so let’s hold for a minute while we figure out exactly who is doing what.
STOP! says we need public hearings when large new buildings are approved, something we do not have for our downtown. Ken Shelin says this is misleading because people already have input when changes to the City Zoning Code and other documents are discussed. True, but those opportunities were in the past and involved abstract issues and complex documents. People do not have input now—and it is the specifics of a new building in a particular location, and how it impacts the neighbors, that calls for a public hearing. Either Ken does not understand what STOP! is talking about, or maybe—he is trying to mislead?
Ken Shelin says STOP! is misleading the public about improving traffic issues because this is a problem that can’t be solved. STOP! has never said we can solve our traffic woes. We have said the City needs better traffic studies and more accurate data. We have said the City should look at the problem city-wide, not just on a project-by-project basis. And we have said the City should update fee schedules and methodologies to create funding for traffic improvement goals.  Doesn’t Ken understand that even intractable problems like traffic should still be worked on, that we can’t afford to just ignore this problem? Or is he being, misleading?
Ken Shelin has also accused STOP! of numerous other faults, many of them completely irrelevant to our goals and objectives, and far too numerous to address in a single letter to the editor. At one presentation I attended, he actually argued that STOP! is un-American. Last time I checked, advocating for a citizen’s right to speak in a public hearing before his or her elected officials was about as American as you can get.
I like to be careful with my words.  So I will stick to the comment that Ken Shelin is being very misleading.  To find out more about STOP!’s goals, please go to our website at www.ForQualityProgress.com.
Kate Lowman, on  behalf of the STOP! Steering Committee.

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