Monday, May 12, 2008

Another Benton Spirit Letter to Editor

Spreading Misinformation Makes Me Angry
To read entire letter, click on "Harbor Shores", then the Letter to Editor section

There’s not much else that makes me angry than the spreading of misinformation. Specifically, the recent letter to the editor where the author claimed that the “original” Friends of Jean Klock Park were a group of Higman Park residents trying to prevent the housing development at the north end of the beach and that the current group of people fighting to save the park were not part of the “original” group. For the record, there were 6 plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

One lives on Higman Park.

Other plaintiffs incorporated (Friends of Jean Klock Park) and are still trying to save the park. The ensuing Settlement Agreement that was reached not only prevented further development of Jean Klock Park, but also the sale of any part of the park. The City of Benton Harbor has blatantly ignored and violated this agreement by approving a 105-year lease of most of the park to Harbor Shores. A lease of this duration does constitute a sale and the City is breaking their word and the law.

Another huge piece of misinformation is the claim that Harbor Shores will bring new jobs to the area. Already one hotel and the water park have backed out of the deal. What sort of jobs does that leave? Seasonal, minimum wage at best. Another golf course is not the answer...

...All the City has to do is clean off the roads like they promised in 2004 and open it up to the public. They could have easily done that instead of spending money to send the entire city council to Las Vegas for a week. Instead of selling out to big business, the City should get another grant and restore the beach the way the public obviously wants to see it and also keep their word to open up the boulevard. That means the entire boulevard, not just the middle portion. Recent public opinion is for the restoration of Jean Klock Park, not the golf course.

I grew up in an era when Jean Klock Park was the absolute best beach in Southwest Michigan. If they (BH) give up control of this priceless piece of property, they will be making a huge mistake not to mention violating the Consent Judgment which states “The Court permanently enjoins the City from using any portion of the property depicted as Jean Klock Park in Exhibit C to this Consent Judgment for any purpose other than bathing beach, park purposes, or other public purposes related to bathing beach or park use…”