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To the Editor:

How much authority does a patriot delegate to an elected official? To this patriot the elected officials' responsibility is to protect the citizenry from both domestic and foreign enemies that want to overthrow our constitutional limit republic form of government.

I hope the verbiage used in the Grosse Pointe Woods city calendar was just a poor choice of words; "The residents of the city are the highest government authority. They delegate this authority to representatives they elect every four years," but looking back I am not too sure it was.

I have lived in this community for 50 years and I remember a time when if residents wanted a street sign posted on their street all they had to do was to compose a petition, obtain signatures and turn it in to city hall. The signs would then be installed. Today, citizens have to make an appointment to be placed on the city council agenda, then ask for permission of installation of a sign, and the council will dictate to them if one will, or will not, be installed.

There was a time when if a resident wanted to install a fence around their property the only permission required was that of an adjoining neighbor and only if the fence is taller than 4 feet high. Have you looked at the council's agenda lately? It appears that most of the agenda items are of residents asking for permission to install a fence. Why is this? I had a council member tell me it is to avoid a resident from installing a cement fence. In 50 years I never heard of or seen a cement fence in a residential area.

I recently read an article where a restaurant wanted to move in where the former Harmony House was located on Mack ("Sated G.P. Woods nixes Cosi restaurant," Dec. 5, Grosse Pointe News) and the council denied them permission, stating there were enough restaurants in the city. Who gave the council permission to dictate the number of restaurants within our city? Seems to me that the law of supply and demand will dictate if we want another restaurant within the city.

Please do not claim parking problems as a reason to deny a business the opportunity to open within our community. I have been paying closer attention to the parking on Mack; it appears if a patron cannot park in front of the establishment they are visiting, then this construes a parking problem. Yet many of us shop at malls and have no problem parking and walking a distance to the stores.

The article "Library plans given deadline to be checked out" (Feb. 6, Grosse Pointe News) was about the library board meeting with the Grosse Pointe Woods Planning Commission, and that the two issues on the agenda were not addressed. It appears that the library board will have to meet at least one more time with the planning commission to obtain the variances.

I found it interesting to read, "Balanced coverage" (Jan. 30, Grosse Pointe News, Letters), that a councilman referred to the members of the "new business association" on Mack Avenue as whiners. From what I have read, this new business association is trying to make Grosse Pointe Woods a more business-friendly environment. They are doing this by attending council meetings and asking questions, speaking up and learning the legality of the ordinances that the council has made.

To this writer they are not whiners but concerned business people who want to improve the business district within the city.

From what I have read in the paper it appears the city of Grosse Pointe Woods makes the business community jump through hoops to do business within our city. Why is this?

There is another city nearby that also has many bureaucratic hoops for doing business within its community and I have seen what has happened to it over the past 50 years. The city of Detroit is a disgrace with the boarded up storefronts. It appears that Detroit council has also delegated to themselves too much authority and consequently killed a once vibrant city.

This too can happen to the Grosse Pointe Woods business area as well. With the city council making more and more dictatorial regulations for both the residential and business community, and throwing expensive parties, it is time for an old-fashioned town hall meeting with residents and business people in attendance.

Margaret Potter

Grosse Pointe Woods

Margaret Potter
February 27, 2003

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