- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
My La Plata friends and neighbors, as it stands now, will not be able to exercise their right to vote for or against the annexation, and the eventual Walmart Supercenter that comes with it.
They will not be able to do what our Founding Fathers devised for us, what our armed forces secure for us, and that is speak their minds on a topic that is front and center in the town of La Plata’s discourse. This is a sad day for La Plata, and when they understand why there will be no referendum, it will be an angry day in La Plata as well.
The judge who decided this appeared not to have any issue with the petition, and recognized that the grass roots effort had to go it alone. He agreed with the board of election’s assessment that there was the requisite number of signatures available to meet the referendum requirement. He even appeared to agree that the process that adjudicated the validity of the signatures functioned properly and those mechanisms that were in place to protect against any fraud or mishandling substantiated the claim of “valid” by those of us who pushed the petition.
In short, those of us against this future monstrosity did everything right to the best of our ability and the information provided us (or not) by the town.
So then why did we lose? We lost because the judge believed that Town Manager Daniel Mears overstepped his authority by producing his rules of engagement two days prior to our due date for submitting the referendum petition and that he acted like he was the mayor in doing so. As such, his actions botched the entire process, in the mind of the presiding judge.
I’m still not sure why the arrogance and unprofessionalism of one person who had nothing to do with our successful petition was able to torpedo our effort, but the fact of the matter remains that the people of La Plata cannot exercise their right to vote because of the town manager’s actions.
If I were the mayor, I would fire this person for usurping authority and besmirching the good name of the town council. Sadly, this is all moot because Mr. Mears was probably exercising the bidding of Mayor Roy Hale.
This is why we must exercise our right when able and vote this crew out of office … if you can get to the polls through the traffic jam at the Super Walmart.
Gary J. Maynard, La Plata