Friday, June 12, 2009

Chakwin: Allow time for review of proposal

Note: The Lents Neighborhood Association Urban Renewal Advisory Committee (sorry about the error on Friday night's post) is scheduled to vote on the ballpark proposal at its June 18 meeting (6 p.m., Mt. Scott Community Center). The proposal the URAC will be voting on -- or starting from as it discusses what proposal would be acceptable to it -- has not yet been distributed.

Below is a letter from Lents Neighborhood Association Chairman Damien Chakwin.

To whom it may concern,

As the Chair of the Lents Neighborhood Association I find it my responsibility to protest the amount of time that the neighborhood will have to view the proposal offered in conjunction with the Ball field.

We as a neighborhood are entitled to the due process of being able to know exactly what the offer ism considering the 20,000 people who live in Lents will have to adjust and adapt to what is the outcome of this vote.

I have spoken to many people who are in favor of the stadium and many people who are against the stadium both have good reasons for the way that they feel. One thing I know that both sides agree on as a neighborhood is that we are going to bear the brunt of the financial burden out of the URA, not to mention the changes in the neighborhood, both good and bad, and deserve to be a part of the process.

The URAC was explained to me as a representational board that covers not only Lents but other connected neighborhoods and businesses. So on top of the 20,000 residents of Lents we have these other neighborhoods that are supposedly affected but, are they to the same degree? That remains to be seen.

I am asking the City Council, the PDC, and the URAC respectively to allow the residents of Lents their due process, The ability to get the information and assess it and then tell all the parties involved that we either welcome the proposal, we do not welcome the proposal, or we need changes to make it work.

To all involved, those who know me will tell you that I am not a politician, I am a very plain speaker who generally speaks what is on my mind. I want to ask every single one of the people who are getting this E-mail, would any of you want to have this happen in your neighborhood with out having the ability to weigh in on the project. Granted this process has come late in the game but, it was off the table then back again, Lents was flexible when the ballpark came back to Lents, I am now asking all the people involved to give Lents the same flexibility.

When a proposal can be enacted and the people affected are not part of the decision then the proposal becomes an edict and not enforceable in a free democracy.

I as a resident of Lents and as the Chair of the Lents Neighborhood Association respectively ask that the members of the URAC postpone the vote until such time as the Lents neighborhood has time to review the proposal and respond through the neighborhood association. We will disseminate this information to the neighborhood with all the due diligence allowed considering our circumstances. We would welcome suggestions from the city council as to ways to speedup the distribution of the material or support in our efforts or get the material out to the neighborhood.

Respectively Yours
Damien A. Chakwin

1 comment:

  1. Damien,

    I applaud your letter to URAC. For being "plain spoken" it is very levelheaded, well-presented, and fair.
    Thank you,