Letter to the Editor

Published 5:21 pm Friday, April 21, 2017

Dear Editor:

Once again the citizens and taxpayers of Bainbridge have been shafted and handed their heads by the City Council.

I refer to your recent editorial, and then to the response of Mr. Joe Truhett in the Post-Searchlight of Wednesday, April 19, 2017. And then to the results of the City Council meeting that was held on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

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Since I have only lived in Bainbridge for a little over 20 years, it seems I will never learn that the city fathers have no ultimate real regard for the safety and welfare of their citizens.

What appears to moves them is money. That is the long and short of it. It  always seems to be the money that talks.

The parcel of land that was zoned commercial by the City Council, despite the fact that it is shown as residential on the long range planning map, and despite the fact that the Zoning Commission recommended denial, will bring nothing but heartache, not only to we citizens who are most affected, but to the Council.

A Dollar General will be placed at the corner of U.S. Route No. 84 East and Randolph Court with the access to the store from Randolph Court.

This will be a new adventure for the city. Randolph Court is a narrow access road to a residential area containing some 41 homes. There are only a few places in all of Bainbridge where access to a business is from a side street. In all of those situations the access road is a wide city street.

However, that is only part of the adventure. There is no right turn lane from Highway 84 onto Randolph court. Additionally the speed limit at that intersection is 55 miles per hour. There is no business in Bainbridge which is accessed from traffic travelling 55 miles per hour.

None of the above appeared to even interest the majority of the City Council. I was one of two citizens who spoke to the council and I tried to present the facts to members as best I could. However, I had not even taken my seat when I knew the “fix” was in.

For most of my notes I referred to the Zoning Application detailing several factual errors as well as some mistakes. However, I noted that few, if any council members even bothered to look down at their copy of the Zoning Application to see which item I was addressing. Every member of the council listened courteously, or at least appeared to do so. And the Mayor thanked me for my presentation.

The real proof of “minds already made up” came with the second speaker. He was well prepared and came with a detailed copy of his presentation. He handed copies to every member. He detailed many reasons why the proposed rezoning was not appropriate.

Again the members of the council listened politely, but since I was sitting watching I could observe their every action. Very few even bothered to turn the pages of the presentation to note what the speaker was addressing. And only in a few instances did they look down at what was being addressed.

Finally, there appeared to me to be a definite conflict of interest on the part of one of the council members. Although that member may not have had any material interest in the action, that member certainly has close relatives who stand to gain a large amount of money from the action. Thus it would appear that at least there was a personal bias.

April 18 was not only tax day, but it was yet another sad day for the citizens of Bainbridge.

Very respectively,

John H. Cunningham

2063 Pilgrim Way

Bainbridge, GA