Hon. Mayor and Commissioners,
City of DeLand,
120 S. Florida Ave.,
DeLand, FLA 32720.
Subject: Wal-Mart Legal Fees
To hand the recent newspaper reports that you intend to seek legal fees from the opponents of the new Wal-Mart [Beacon 10-May-2002].
Certainly it is within your power to do this thing. And just as certainly, the publicity will assist in the real goal: chilling opposition with the threat of ruinous legal fees.
The Citys history in this matter is not exactly a proud one. You will recall that for many months the Commission was divided and the matter did not go forward. After a secret meeting between Wal-Mart and a Commissioner who had (until that time) been steadfast in opposition, that Commissioner changed her vote and the matter went through. Understand that I am not saying that anything improper happened: there could be a legitimate explanation.
Likewise, there could be a legitimate explanation for why the City gave economic development favors to those who contributed to its referendum (see dld9504.txt 18-Dec-1995). There could also be a legitimate reason those police officers paid that young lady whom they video-taped in compromising positions, and why she accepted the Citys money. It does, however, seem likely that the obvious explanations apply: the City sold its favors, and the young lady was selling hers.
So we see that the City is not beyond reproach. It is also clear that those most deserving of reproach are exactly those who least desire correction. We note the sage advice:
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.[John 3:20, KJV]
The City, by taking action to discourage criticism, makes its position clear. Unlike Job, who was noted as just and upright, and who said:
My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.[Job 27:6, KJV], the Commission rather acts as those advisors of whom it is recorded
I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all. Shall vain words have an end?[Job 16:2..3, KJV]
The City prefers to intimidate those who would question its actions. It is clear that the Commission must be reminded:
Great men are not always wise;[Job 32:9, KJV] You are, by this letter, so reminded.
Those of us at the level of peon or taxpayer find it unlikely that the City will profit by its decisions on the Wal-Mart. Certainly, it is possible that the Commission is of the view that we actually need another empty big box shopping center, together with another traffic problem on the north end of town. It is possible also that pigs will fly, delivering themselves to the sausage factory, like taxpayers welcoming their TRIM notices.
It seems more likely, however, that the City is merely making an example of those citizens who stuck their heads up and said that they did not need another mess, located miles from our fire station, yet requiring services for which we all must pay.
CC: DeLand Beacon
This material is a paid political advertisement provided by
P.O. Box 1208,