Carolyn Bucey finished off her slimy opponent Bill Snow with a knock out punch of truth and we won. Not only that council seat, but two others, also. It was a sweep of local proportions.
A commenter on my last post suggested I name names, so here we go. Our neighborhood was unhappy with our councilman Bill Snow for failing to stand up for us against the over development of a former school property by Junior Properties, ltd. Junior’s daddy, the Big Shot, Osborne, gave a pile of money to the financially crippled school district, earmarked solely for the football stadium. Period. No books, no AP teachers hired back, no computers or classroom remodels. Football. In exchange for this “contribution” he was gifted Center Street Elementary School and surrounding properties for development by good ol’ Junior, who has proposed squeezing in 50-60-70 (depends what day you ask) condos onto the former playground.
Why is our council representative so important? It is council who will decide how many units go onto that land. In our minds, rubber stampers need not apply. And rubber stampers who have a whole lot of unexplained cash in their election campaign accounts should get lost.
Most people think the Osbornes bought Center Street School for the fire sale price of $700,000, but that’s unclear. Nothing was ever recorded. Did the district gave it to them as swag for the gift to the football team? Who knows. Very fishy. And Mr. Snow and the rest of council just kept smiling and rubber stamping approvals. Keep in mind that this neighborhood is still reeling from 2003 when 63% of the town voted to stop developers from plugging a different development (Newell Creek) into our limited green space. The developers took the case to court and a judge OVERTURNED the popular vote. To say the neighborhood is a little skeptical of sincerity of developers is an understatement.
And now this new Junior Properties development at Center Street School threatens to overwhelm our ancient sewers, threaten our trees, and increase our population density and traffic flow at one of the busiest intersections in town beyond the point of safety. We’ve already sacrificed the playground I used to walk to with my grandkids and the ball diamond that throbbed with T ballers on any given summer evening. And guess what? Osborn also owns the bank that is doing the financing and owns the gas company which is also drilling (with council approval) at more and more sites in this semi-urban neighborhood. Could it be that Osborn rhymes with Halliburton?
Carolyn Bucey was party to a lawsuit against the Newell Creek developers and in fact she and her husband received a small settlement for loss of value to their home due to the Newell Creek development. So, wasn’t it a surprise to all when a glossy, four color copy of her confidential settlement check was mailed first class to the entire Ward along with an implication that she was taking payoffs? How did Snow get a copy of that check? Who paid for the expense of mailing? Who would want such a person as Mr. Snow to represent them after he did such a thing?
Well, guess what. The majority of voters do NOT trust Mr. Snow to represent them anymore. Here’s the best part about grass roots efforts, Bucey’s committee was able to xerox a simple letter explaining that the copy of the check was obtained underhandedly, that the check was NOT a payoff but a perfectly legal settlement, and get that info hand delivered to the entire ward, 1/4 of Mentor inside of two days. The majority of voters decided.
And that is what democracy looks like.