I’m Against It – How About You?

Terry Platt, Semmes City Council, Place #4

A couple of days ago, I published a post about a  city council agenda item, a resolution, that may appear on the next Semmes City Council agenda, July 16, 2019. I say “may” because the Mayor said the resolution is “under consideration.” I think someone is tiptoeing around the mine field.

I would like for you to know something about this resolution and let me know your thoughts. During the last council work session, I stood alone – voting no for approving the resolution. I even questioned the legality of it appearing on the agenda since no elected official claimed sponsorship.

The resolution concerns acquiring and paving what is now a private road, Shannon Lane, which is off Wards Lane just east of Firetower Road.  A Google Earth map is attached to this article. Look closely in the center of that map and you will see a red dot. That is the center of Shannon Lane. Shannon Lane runs north off Wards Lane and dead ends into nothingness.

I stated and stand firm that Shannon Lane is a driveway for ~18 homes and paving it at a cost of $300,000+ is fiscally irresponsible when those funds can be used to preserve roads that are already in place. I do not see many of the other thousands of Semmes citizens using Shannon Lane. The way I see it, if this resolution passes, the city will be investing $16,666. 666 dollars per household on Shannon Lane. Rather unfare to rest of us, I think. Heck, I can’t even get the Public Works Department to fix their eroding right of way in front of my house.

You may want to read my previous post but in case you missed it, I stated:

You deserve fiscal responsibility along with transparency. This means you, the citizens, need to  know where the money goes and why. Very few details are recorded in the minutes of the City Council meetings and attendance at those meetings is poor. This results, in my opinion, in a lack of information you need in order to evaluate the actions of your Mayor and City Council.

In my opinion, passage of this resolution would be fiscal carelessness. As far as government transparency, did you know anything about this before now?

I cannot help but wonder how this issue has survived as long as it has – it has been on the agenda time and again for a year or longer. The initial figure for paving the “private road” came to the council at a cost of $600,000. The city council did not approve aquisition of the property and paving at that time.

But now, here it is again – this time its only $300,000. The city public works director presented his reasoning for placing the resolution on the agenda: it meets the requirements for paving private roads…. I don’t even know if the “requirements” have gone before the city council. Looks to me like there was a lot of twisting and adjusting to get this square peg in the round hole. Its a driveway!

I guess that’s all I have to say. I just wanted you to know that unless you can convince other council members and the mayor to remove the resolution or vote against it, there goes $300,000! Get their phone numbers here.

Of course there could be an upside. Do you have a private road, driveway, you need paved?


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Terry Platt,
Semmes City Council, Place 4



5 thoughts on “I’m Against It – How About You?

  1. Mr Platt , You are correct in not supporting this resolution as proposed to spend public money on private property ! It’s illegal to spend public tax payer money on private property . If the city council votes to accept maintenance of Shannon lane then the road would have to be designed and built to a minimal standard so that the taxpayer investment would last and the city not be subject to getting sued by some scrupulous attorneys when somebodies house gets flooded . Baker had already gotten an estimate from a local engineer for over 600,000 a couple years ago when he had promised to pave this road for the residence in trade for their vote for mayor . So the 300,000 price tag is only half enough to do it right . It would be admirable to handle this project correctly but not push it through while blowing smoke screens (with the help of Bakers side kick Mr. Smith ) would not be prudent.

  2. This is the most ridiculous use of taxpayer funds. Why would Shannon Lane get this special treatment? Who on Shannon Lane is holding pictures of the Mayor or Council? What a waste, someone knows something!

  3. When you’re done with that, I’d like to get my private road worked on. Its 1.5 miles long and has twice as many homes on it as Shannon Lane.

    In all seriousness I don’t want the city on my road. But I’m pointing out what will happen if this is approved. Every homeowner on a private road will want their road paved. For the private roads in the PJ, since tax money taken in the PJ should be spent in the PJ, some may ask that their roads at least be graded quarterly. It’s a very slippery slope.

  4. You make perfect sense. Yes, yes I do have a driveway that needs paving. It’s not too far from Schillenger Rd north. When they finish with Sch. Rd, they could just run some asphalt to my driveway. My husband passed away and I don’t have the funds to take care of it. Thank you for asking.

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