Letters to the editor for June 14, 2013

By Observer Upload June 14, 2013 10:31 am
Letters to the editor for June 14, 2013

Bozarth, Meisner
and others need to go

To the Editor:

I attended the City Council meeting June 12 to hear the result of the Economic Improvement District (EID) proposal for La Grande Main Street.  

I was appalled at the unprofessional and accusational comments of both council member John Bozarth and Mayor Pro Tem Mary Ann Meisner at a local attorney and local businesses, blaming us for the failure of the EID to pass. Almost 42 percent of the tax base objected to the EID and associated fees. 

No one person, property owner or business was responsible for the failure of the EID. Instead, the failure of the EID rests squarely on the shoulders of the City Council (aka Urban Renewal Agency), La Grande Main Street and the city staff (Charlie Mitchell, economic development director; Robert Strope, city manager; and other city leaders). They failed to follow rules in the “The EID/BID Handbook,” published by the Oregon Downtown Development Association, and linked to on the La Grande Main Street website, or they forgot to read it.  

They have burnt bridges, made enemies and failed to reach out to many businesses in La Grande. Their past history of favoring a few businesses and ignoring most of the rest of us came back to haunt them. But rather than looking inward at their failures, Bozarth and Meisner chose to blame the rest of us for speaking our voice and exercising our right to vote and free speech.  

Local business people invest their time, money, energy and passion into this town and deserve the respect and attention of the city. I think the house needs to be cleaned and the current leaders should make way for others who are fair, business friendly, and rather than just enriching their friends and allies, truly want to make La Grande a better place for everybody.

Gerold C. Grant

Mt. Emily Ale House

La Grande