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The Community Development Corporation (CDC) March 3rd meeting was well attended. Board members, Muriel Eason (chair), Ugar Parsons, Jason Cox, and Morgan Muri made professional presentations. Yet, attendees departed with widely different interpretations of their remarks. If the interpretations by local newsman, Bill Hudson, are true, then the CDC has taken some very hurtful positions with respect to some community leaders and to elderly Hispanic residents.
Mr. Hudson interpreted the delivery by Udgar Parsons to mean that former leaders, including Bob Hart, Ross Aragon, Darrell Cotton and Karl Isberg, have obstructed progress. Mr. Hudson also concluded that Mr. Parsons had labeled the local aged Hispanic community population as barriers to progress.
Wal-Mart, the Town Tourism Council (TTC) proposal for Reservoir Hill, the Recreation Center bond issue, were a few of the issues mentioned. The CDC’s views on these items, as I understand them is negative on Wal-Mart and the TTC proposal for Reservoir Hill, and positive on the bond for the Recreation Center. The CDC states that their position on each of these is in the name of progress, and that one who disagrees with them is a barrier. I find myself at odds with the CDC on two of the three items mentioned. Should I be judged as a barrier, if it is my opinion that the tax burden of a recreation center exceeds its positive impact on the community? Should I be judged a barrier if I will not speak against the construction of Wal-Mart, because I believe in private enterprise? I prefer to think that it is a matter of honest disagreement. The dictionary.com definitions of two key words are:
Progress: “a movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage”
Barrier: “anything that restrains or obstructs progress, access”
I hope that the CDC will clarify their views, and not regard community citizens as barriers to progress, simply because they have an honest disagreement on a specific project with the CDC. Individual’s evaluations can differ as to whether a project is progress or not. One person’s barrier can be another’s safety net.
I seek clarification, not conflagration. I request that the CDC clarify their views for the sake of their own organization, as well as that of their member’s businesses and organizations.
John S. Ramberg