Guest post by a Flat Rock resident who attended the June 19 special Flat Rock village council meeting on the N. Highland Lake Road project
Hubris is the word that came to mind when sitting through the council meeting. The spinning of the truth knew no bounds around the five council members and the mayor.
Imagine. . .
Imagine. . . the Flat Rock Playhouse takes $25,000 of taxpayer money (and next year, it’s $30,000), and then a council person connected to the Playhouse has the nerve to vote to take the private land of that same taxpayer who contributes to that $30,000. Remember, Flat Rock Playhouse, there will come a time when a different town council will be determining your gift of taxpayer money.
Imagine. . . that there’s no public comments. But then the mayor reads public comments of his own choosing. Sad!
Imagine. . . continuing to claim that NCDOT will have a sour relationship with Flat Rock if we don’t do this project—despite being told many times that NCDOT said no such thing.
Imagine. . . continuing to use the 91 accidents number—despite knowing that most of the accidents occurred at or near the intersection of Spartanburg Highway and Upward Road, where NCDOT has already done their work.
Imagine. . . being told by a council person how much they compromised, knowing that the only change from the original project was not widening the lanes 3 feet, and that all the other road changes are pretty much intact.
Imagine. . . being told how great council members all were that they pushed back on NCDOT—when if it weren’t for the opposition groups, the council would have approved the original plan in a heartbeat.
Imagine. . . that none of the 5 council members and mayor have a clue about “if you build it, they will come.”
Imagine. . . already on the books is a plan to do a bike/ped path to Carl Sandburg. Something fishy here with Carl Sandburg? Do they need to use our parking spaces at the park?
Imagine. . . being told that despite no safety or capacity issues, they still “feel” the road is unsafe. Don’t let the facts get in the way, huh.
Imagine. . . being told that if traffic speed increases, we will just ask drivers to slow down. This sentiment speaks for itself.
Imagine. . . being told that the remaking of the intersection to make it huge will now be the gateway to Flat Rock, and will again help the Playhouse but poor Dale’s car repair doesn’t even get mentioned.
Imagine. . . being a homeowner of one of the three little houses, and being told it’s only going to be a little sidewalk that will take a chunk of your front yard.
Imagine. . . the council’s disdain for the citizens of Flat Rock by calling them closed-minded. Then the mayor reading a local weekly newspaper quote that also denigrates the democratic efforts of the citizens.
Imagine. . . a beautiful church having to lose memorial trees, but being told that maybe NCDOT could help them with storm windows or such.
Imagine. . . how much “they know better” and that all of us dying, retired people will get replaced by younger people who work. Really! What happened to all the other people that are retiring to Flat Rock, oh, maybe they’ve died, too.
Now, imagine. . . a time when we have a new council, one that understands the “slippery slope” concept and that represents the citizens. A council that works bottoms up with the citizens providing the ideas and direction. A council that respects and understands that the unique character of Flat Rock only exists now because other groups in the past fought against the very policies that this current council stands for.
Yes, I can imagine this. . . and it will be beautiful. Imagine that.