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Where are we going Salado? - John Jennings responds

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To the Editor:

Mr. Fleischer began with an interesting and informative commentary on “What Is Wrong here” (Village Voice –Oct 3rd) referring to Salado. What was surprising was that he decided to attack me personally toward the end of the article leaving the reader with the impression that among other things I’m part of the problem.

Mr. Fleischer was reacting to a presentation I’d given at the Board of Alderman meeting on Sept 19, calling for the resignation of the Mayor Danny McCort. My comments and evidence, including incriminating pictures, were pointed directly to the Mayor and never intended to besmirch the reputations of any business owners, who could have been led to believe it must be legal if the Mayor was supervising their project.

In fact, after my presentation, two Aldermen immediately commended me. The new Village Administrator, who the Board respects, called me directly the following week and we had a productive conversation about the new direction of Salado. In the very next BOA workshop the main topic was taking away the authority of the Mayor to issue and make decisions on building permits. That is currently in the works.

Mr. Fleischer refers to “those who screamed to the roof tops about live music” and compared them to fictional characters in Foot Loose, the imaginary town that forbids dancing. How ridiculous. The truth is when the issue of music and dancing was brought up for conditional use; I spoke publicly in favor of many places that had done it well, including The Range on Main St. I was not in favor of a live concert facility so close to residences.  

I am dubious that encouraging more alcohol in Salado, as some have suggested will be the saving of the future. I like the wineries and restaurant use as it was in the past.

Many in Salado have advised me to give it up because the “Good Old Boy “system is well known, and will never change. Some have explained that they respected what I was doing, but unfortunately they did business here and could not publicly support my efforts. Their livelihoods depended on overlooking the misdeeds. We must change that, so business and contractors that previously stayed away will begin to trust that there is a level playing field, where future decisions about building and doing business will not be decided by a connection at the top, the amount of time someone has lived here, or the amount of money they have previously invested. Thankfully the Board of Alderman is working on those issues.  

John Jennings

Salado