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Letter to the editor: Do voices matter, Pequot Lakes council?

I misbehaved at the April 23 Trailside Park meeting. I apologize for my lack of decorum, but I'm amazed the elected officials depended upon for decorum participated in a bully pulpit article - Echo Journal 5/3/18.

Twice, the Echo has published (4/15) council comments claiming the Petition to Save Patriot Avenue contained untruths without substantiating the claims.

Petition bullets (view at ipetitions.com):

• Pequot Lakes plans to expand Trailside Park. This plan includes closing Patriot Avenue.

• As early as April 1, Patriot Avenue will close permanently.

• Traffic will be re-routed to Government Drive (Lucky's) and Front Street (Thurlow's).

• $1.7 million will be "borrowed" from the 371 bypass funds MnDOT will give the city for the purpose of maintaining roads, formerly owned by the state/county.

• Businesses weren't consulted.

• Citizens are surprised by the extent of the project and the price.

Facts:

1. April 1: regrettably a rumor. Petition live 3/28. I spoke with Kevin Howieson, MnDOT, March 29, "Road turnover to Pequot wouldn't be before May 1-15." Date online and on any further paper petitions changed to May 1.

2. Patriot Avenue is closing. Reroute made it clear what portion.

3. Borrowing from MnDOT funds - 2018 budget and Mayor Adams 3/6/18.

4. Many businesses conveyed they weren't consulted March 6.

5. Since 7/11/13 (parks meeting) citizens told the $1.7 million will be fundraising and donations. 4/23/18 tax increases announced.

1,201 people signed the petition (1,203 less two anonymous) with 150 comments. Four times the published attendance at all public park project meetings, combined.

A council member said, "Why would a document ... signed by non-citizens, non-business owners, non-property taxpayers ... be of any importance ..." (Echo 5/3/18).

Who is the Trailside Park project supposed to attract?

Donna Walden,

Pequot Lakes

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