“Hi Mr. McDowell,
My apologies for the delay in my reply, but it has been a busy week.
I think Dan’s Decaturish article is a bit off the mark and he was trying to make a point where I don’t think there is one. I’m proud that the Decatur Commission has a “Requests & Petitions” section on its meeting agenda where anyone can come forward and make a statement, request the Commission to look into a certain issue, present a petition, etc. You don’t have to sign up and you pretty much can take the time to speak that you want. In addition, I always try to answer my emails and I’m always willing to meet with folks.
However, we need to be realistic and this is what I tried to express to Dan Whisenhunt. We have a very crowded school system in Decatur and a major imbalance in our commercial/residential mix. Our long standing concerns regarding any potential annexation have been to gain commercial and keep the impact to the school system to a minimum. The current map reflects this. My point to Dan was that I am willing to listen to anyone, but it would be doubtful if they could make a petition work unless it met these goals.
In fact, there is a very recent article on Decatur Metro regarding a meeting we had recently with the Medlock Park Neighborhood Board and our response:
“The gist of Decatur’s response is that they are not interested in annexing the Medlock neighborhood or any other significant residential area because of the effect on the Decatur schools. There were no qualifications in their response. That door (or should we say “gateway”) is not open to us.”
Plus you are correct that the 60% method would not work for you and that is a major point.
I appreciate your invitation to attend your meeting, but in light of all of that I’ve stated, I don’t think it would be a productive use of your time for me to attend.