Don't ignore city residents

Former Traverse City Planning Commission Linda Koebert got it backward, blaming the Save Our Downtown community organization for wasting taxpayers' money when the real question is: why is the city fighting its own citizens, who have twice voted for the 60-foot height limit, with the people's tax dollars?

City planners are fudging the 60-foot number by arbitrarily deciding that certain parts of buildings above 60 feet don’t really count. The charter has a mechanism for dealing with developers who wish to build taller: Put it to a vote of city residents. Let the voters who enacted the charter provision decide if a rooftop bar and the elevator shaft to get there doesn’t count when measuring a building’s height.

Koebert goes on to trash any citizen who would dare question the wisdom of our city staff. Clearly this is the tail trying to wag the dog. City staff works for the people. The city manager is hired by the City Commission, which is itself elected citywide by the residents of Traverse City. If the City Commission and staff honored the charter, no taxpayer dollars would be wasted fighting lawsuits.

Why should the residents of Traverse City tolerate having their decisions ignored?

Ross Richardson

Springfield, Illinois

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