Letters to the editor — Feb. 21

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 21, 2019

Opposition to business park

After having recently attended the Feb. 11 meeting of the Clemmons Village Council, where I listened to speaker after speaker express their opposition to the proposed Tanglewood Industrial/Business Park, I want to add my voice to theirs. I am a 25-year resident of Clemmons West and can find nothing advantageous to my neighborhood or to Clemmons as a whole about this so-called “park,” which will sit on 170 acres across from beautiful Tanglewood Park. Not only is such a location incongruous when you consider its proximity to Tanglewood, but it is also a threat to the lives of those who call Clemmons home. Statistics have shown that home values in neighborhoods near such “parks” decrease, which of course will affect those living in Clemmons West and Salem Glen; and the resulting truck traffic on the already congested roads in Clemmons will be a nightmare. I am specifically addressing my concerns to the Clemmons Village Council, which has been asked to agree to additional funding to the tune of $1.2 million in exchange for “specialized zoning” that supposedly would make this “park” more amenable to the citizens of Clemmons. Under no circumstances should the members of our Village Council agree to this. The Forsyth County commissioners have pursued this wrongheaded path, and they should have to go it alone. Clemmons should not be an enabler in such a disastrous plan which would likely bring little, if any, benefit to our community, certainly nothing that could be worth $1.2 million, and which will create long-term problems, not just for nearby neighborhoods, but for the entire Village. My hope is that the members of our Village Council will make a decision that is in the best interests of the residents of Clemmons and will do all they can to ensure that the future of our community isn’t subjugated to the interests and desires of those who are only concerned about using this property for something that is so inconsistent with the goals and values that we who live here hold dear.

— Jean Ashley


Clemmons lawsuit settlement

On Feb. 7, the Clemmons Courier reported a settlement in a discrimination complaint against the Village of Clemmons. The complaint stated the discrimination was based on race and income level and was filed on Dec. 15, 2015. The complaint pointed out specific comments on incomes and Section 8 housing made by former Councilman Bill Lawry and current Councilwoman Pamela Lofland as detailed in the April 23, 2018, determination letter. They were the only two people quoted in the determination letter.

Councilwoman Pamela Lofland’s (a private citizen at that time) comments in the determination letter were and I quote: “Lower income housing should not be what we should be encouraging or courting. I’m very concerned that this type of housing could increase our crime rate, require more police and services which will undoubtedly lead to higher taxes for those of us that own property.” “But at $500 a month, it’s going to be — it’s going to be people that — you know, it’s going to be lower income people, not that they’re all criminals.”

Former Councilman Bill Lawry also quoted in the determination letter as saying: “I guess that when you do a background check, would that would disqualify somebody if they were going to be on Section 8? I guess that is a question for one of the pros.” Once this statement was made, Attorney Kasper informed the Councilman Lawry that he should not talk about the income levels of people living in multifamily housing. Council member Lawry stated, “How can I rephrase that question to not get myself or the village in trouble?”

I was appalled that there was zero discussion, explanation or transparency by our current council when a conciliation agreement for $150,000 was unanimously approved and signed at the Jan. 28 council meeting. This item was added to the agenda at the last possible moment.

Our community has sustained irreparable harm by the comments of former Councilman Bill Lawry and current Councilwoman Pamela Lofland. There is no place in our society for discrimination or any effort to “sweep it under the rug.”

— Mike Rogers