Columnist proves yet again he doesn’t have a clue

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 16, 2004

Editor, the News-Herald:

Yet again it remains abundantly clear that Roger Leonard doesn’t know what he is talking about.

On the Fairgrounds Project he is weaving a web of doubt based solely on his own personal opinion.

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Why doesn’t he do just a little homework?

As a commissioner on the Board of the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, I see first-hand information about the entire project.

The city, the SRHA and the consultants have made great strides in a positive direction to change this area for the better.

Just ask the Hall Place Civic League.

This three way agreement is paving the way for many future projects as well.

SRHA is working hand in hand with the land owners and the residents of that area to help them and keep them informed.

I thought that when I got appointed to the Board that it would cost me money by not being able to build some of the homes in the Fairgrounds.

I quickly decided that I would be more effective on the board where I could help with the entire project rather than simply build a few single family homes.

Unlike Leonard, I did not like the view from the sidelines, so I agreed to join the board where I have been for the past year.

As a resident of downtown, I care about the big picture and the landscape of this entire area.

So in the interest of the city, the plan, downtown, and my own backyard, I accepted the appointment.

Right now, a task force for housing (which I sit on) is meeting twice a month to help define a plan of action to solve the &uot;workforce&uot; housing shortage.

It was formed at the request of Mayor Bobby Ralph during a public work session between the SRHA and the City Council.

The Task Force is comprised of council members, commissioners, directors, city management and others.

We have addressed the situation based on facts and census data, not &uot;blue sky&uot; as Leonard does.

Once again, the fact that the City is pro-actively doing something about the problem is overshadowed in Leonard’s article by fear and doubt.

My family and I live in Suffolk.

My son goes to school in Suffolk.

My daughter was born in Suffolk.

I pay taxes in Suffolk, and I’m in the highest taxed district.

I want to be perfectly clear — it is a right and a necessity to question our leaders.

This great country is based on that.

However, the person doing the questioning has a responsibility to do it with facts.

Just because Mr. Leonard has a column in the paper doesn’t make him right.

Who is checking to see if what he says has any merit?

It begs the question: Is he part of the problem, or is he part of the solution?

Mickey Garcia