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From ace correspondent Brenda Butka:
Bells Bend residents have been polled yet again--75% against Maytown, 15% for, and the remainder undecided or unwilling to put signature on ballot, with a total of 93 households reached. A few households could not be contacted.
The entire Scottsboro area was polled about a year ago, and is 92% against Maytown.
Yes, the polling was done by local (unpaid) residents, including me, who are against the project, but great pains were taken to establish transparency and honesty, and, frankly, none of us have the time to cajole the unwilling. "Against? OK, just mark that and sign here."
Each respondent was asked to record his own name, signature, and address on individual ballot sheets, which have been assembled into a binder, with a summary. If you want to, come to the Planning Commission hearing on Thursday evening and see it for yourself.
Why do we care? More to the point, why should you care?
Because a lot of expensive publicity has claimed that the residents of Bells Bend are "overwhelmingly" in favor of a city in the cow pasture down the road.
Now, there WAS a totally separate initiative--the Rural and Natural Resources Act, or RANRA--aimed at helping communities statewide preserve rural areas. Bend residents, responding to a questionnaire, were against the measures outlined in RANRA at that time. That is an interesting and complicated little saga of its own, but has nothing to do with Maytown.
Except, of course, that Maytown publicists have trumpeted the RANRA numbers as showing support for Maytown. It's a little bit like saying that if you don't like squash you don't like tomato sandwiches--could be true, but you really have to ask to know for sure.
If you believe that a community should have some say in what happens to it, and if you think that elected representatives should reflect community opinion, then that 75% anti-Maytown number (or 92% for sub-area plan inhabitants) should be pretty important.
There are a lot of reasons Maytown is a bad idea. One might be, if you think about it, that either Maytown speculators and their flacks don't know the difference between squash and tomato sandwiches, or they really don't much care about detailing the truth.
Then look again at what they're trying to sell.