As a Church Street resident, I cannot fully express my disappointment with the manner in which the City Council dispatched the concerns of the local residents at the meeting Wednesday night.
In that meeting, the motion of an easement for the bridge was up for a vote. Councilman Andy Morris (elected to represent the 4th Ward, which includes the Church Street– Cherokee Street Historic District), immediately requested the floor and proceeded to read a letter from WellStar to the city.
Before the large crowd of residents, Councilman Morris then haltingly read his own statement that residents of his ward wanted the Church Street Bridge approved. That was not true, as attested to by the local residents attending.
When he ended reading his statement, he motioned for a vote, and it was quickly seconded by Councilman Grif Chalfant. It was clear at this point that an orchestrated move was under way to limit further discussion or input from local residents.
If the process to build the bridge will actually take three to five years, as reported, why would our elected officials need to ram this through in such a hasty manner? The city of Marietta uses its historic homes in all of their marketing campaigns, yet seems to take for granted the residents of those very homes. These homeowners pay their property taxes and shoulder the considerable burden of maintaining these beautiful old buildings, while asking the city for little in return.
This was one of the rare times we have asked for consideration. We believed that WellStar would honor its past commitment to us that it would growth north from its current site — not south into the historic district. Our disappointment with WellStar and our city leaders is profound.