Commissioners speak following UDO public hearing

Published 7:02 pm Thursday, September 20, 2012

McDermott said people were also told or it was strongly implied that it was the current board of commissioners that hired Holland Consulting to work on the comprehensive plan. That is also not true, she said. It was the board consisting of Tommy Melton, Warren Watson, Tom Pack, Ted Owens and Harry Denton, she said, with Watson making the motion, Owens seconding and Pack and Denton also voting in favor.
“That’s who hired Holland Consulting,” she said. “And those same commissioners voted to pay Holland Consulting $90,860 to work on the comprehensive plan. Some of that money lasted into the UDO work. $90,860 is about 2/3 of what has been paid to Holland Consulting.”
McDermott also said in her statement that people are being told that she was behind extending the steep slopes ordinance to the entire county.
“Not true,” she said. “I fought hard against doing that. On the UDO committee, I argued very strongly against extending the steep slopes ordinance to the entire county. And I voted against it. But I was in the minority.”
She said of the seven committee members who voted in favor of extending the slopes regulations to the entire county, four of those votes came from Polk County natives.
“That place on the Liberty website that tells you that people from outside Polk County are trying to tell the people whose families have lived here for generations what to do with their land?  Not true,” McDermott said.
Another point McDermott said in her statement is that opponents of the UDO have said the anti-adult business ordinance, adopted in 2004, promotes having adult businesses in Polk County, but “nothing could be further from the truth.”
“The truth is, without the anti-adult business ordinance, an adult business could be put anywhere in White Oak or Coopers Gap Township, because they are not zoned,” she said.
McDermott ended her statement by saying people have been telling residents a whole lot of things that turned out to be not true in an effort to politicize the UDO due to the upcoming election.
“Can you trust people like that?” McDermott asked. “Or were they intentionally telling you things that they knew were not true, to frighten you and enrage you? To manipulate you? Can you trust people like that? You’ll have to make up your own mind. But please think hard about what has been debunked tonight.”
Commissioners scheduled a workshop to discuss the UDO on Oct. 1 at 5 p.m. with a regular commissioners’ meeting to follow at 7 p.m.

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