Re Monday's Harlem annexation meeting:
To those of you that live in the area of Columbia County surrounding Harlem, you missed a meeting of all meetings. I have lived outside Harlem for 35 years. I am 70 years old and was treated in the most disrespectful manner. In front of the news media and approximately 150 people, I was told in no uncertain terms that I had no right to use the streets and roads of Harlem, as I don't live in the city, nor do I pay city taxes.
It was the most asinine, immature, obnoxious, idiotic statement I have ever heard, and it made the speaker look like a fool. And guess who told me that? The infamous Mayor Scott Dean. I wrote to the mayor way over six weeks ago, and have never received the courtesy of an answer. So I take it all of the folks who came to the Oliver Hardy Festival weren't welcome if you weren't a resident of Harlem. But they were willing to take your money. ...
I felt embarrassed and humiliated. Dean owes me a public, personal apology. Don't get sucked into the glitz and glamour of annexing into the city. They can't take care of the citizens they already have; they surely don't need any more. The questions that were asked only got "tongue in cheek" answers. When a person's house is half in the city and half in the county and the city police were called for help, and the party was told to "call the county" because the city wouldn't come to the rescue. There is something drastically wrong with this picture. I bet Sheriff Clay Whittle would have never said that. ...
Harlem has gone to hell in a hand basket. It used to be a great little town to live in. We have two police officers to patrol the whole city, yet the mayor didn't know how many miles that entailed.
We have one full-time firefighter and 28 volunteers. What if those volunteers are busy or not available? Would you feel safe being inside the city limits? I wouldn't. I pay $60 per year for a coverage I may not even get. They say your water and trash will be cheaper. That is not true. ...
They had stated that they were going to have two more meetings about annexation, but after Monday's meeting, those have been cancelled. Now they are calling the shots and we don't have a voice.
Just because the meeting had a majority of elderly people, don't think they can pull the wool over our eyes. ... I paid for this land and no one is going to tell me what I can do with it without a fight. ...
When I first moved here we had approximately 2,800 people; now we are down to 1,800 and there are houses galore for sale. Does that not tell you something?
It used to be a great little town to raise your children in. If you want it to grow, then get some businesses to come in. Open up the movie house again; get a senior citizens center. Find something for the children to do. Make us proud, and then we might think about it. But under this administration, I kind of doubt it -- especially when you are talked down to and treated like an imbecile.
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