Because of the ongoing controversy over the intersection of 2nd and Holland in Great Bend I have decided to let the public know my views on this matter. A company owned by the family of councilman Westhoff bought several lots on 2nd street and cleared off the lots. Then they went in and dug pits next to the river berm and spread the fine sand all over those lots and they started using these pit to wash out the cement trucks which was in violation of the zoning ordinance. They let the loose fine sand turn the neighborhood into the Sahara desert with the sand storms which was against the city ordinance requiring ground cover to prevent this from happening. They did this unchecked for around two years even though I had gone to the city to try and get it stopped.
They drove the cement trucks on the residential streets in the neighborhood destroying the streets in spite of the fact that there were no truck signs posted. For the City or Ken Roberts to suggest that those signs were put up by anyone other than the city is absurd.The City is supposed to be repairing our streets but we have a council member tearing them up and the city condoning that. So much for repairing streets and I would like to know where that sales tax money is to repair streets this year because I think it went to the ballpark.
The residents had to band together and hire attorneys to try and stop the actions of the company, the councilman and the city and only then did the city decide to try to change the zoning ordinance and make an exception to the ground cover ordinance in an effort to allow these conditions to continue. At one of the zoning commission meetings it was pointed out by the residents that the no truck signs were there and within days the city went there and pulled the signs and are now saying there is no proof of who put the signs in. The residents who have been there for over 42 years tell me that the signs were there when they moved in. Perhaps the ordinance for truck traffic is outdated as far as weights of trucks but you can bet that if they are changed they will be changed so that cement trucks can operate on residential streets at all times. By all means lets continue destroying those streets because after all they are in the fourth ward.
Then the city tried to sneak in a change so that the assistant city administrator could sign off on allowing that same company to build what ever kind of fence they wanted to build and bypass the proper channels. I think the idea is to put a solid block fence around the property so they can continue doing anything they want to do and no one will see what is going on.
Then at the end of the meeting councilman Roberts told me he did not appreciate my berating the city officials and that he was having the city staff contact the Attorney Generals office to have me investigated to see if I was violating the open meetings act by printing my opinions in the newspaper. Well Ken since I am not talking to other council members as I have seen you do before a meeting I would think just the opposite would be true. I welcome that as hopefully they will investigate the entire council and maybe we will see who is invested in mytown and the new theater, and why the Mayor gets by with selling his house to Redbarn. As far as the berating goes if I think the staff is not telling me the truth then I will call them out on it. Do I think Don Craig was solely responsible for removing the signs, no I believe he was following orders.
Of course I know that the Tribune will not print this but I am hoping that the Eagle and the Hutchinson news will. I am also sending this to all three television stations.
I can only hope that at some point the residents of Great Bend will grow tired of watching the special interest groups get their way and either vote these people out of office.
Great Bend Councilman Randy Myers