Letter to the Editor

We deserve better

So … a week after my article about developers taking over city politics, the mayor’s office sent a representative to my house to personally talk to me about “complaints from a neighbor.” There are nuts falling from a tree in my backyard. A few land in his lawn. Another tree in my backyard has some poison ivy on it. The neighbor wants both trees cut down. These are complaints that the mayor’s office felt serious enough to warrant the city’s intervention. Gimme a break.

After 65 years of living in Independence without a problem, the mayor suddenly decides to send someone from the city’s engineering department to confront me over this, three different times! Coincidence? I’d say harassment. I can’t say I’m surprised. 

Meanwhile … a builder wants to build a house a few doors down from me. The Independence building code requires a minimum 75-foot setback for new construction. That’s the absolute minimum. It can be more. The minimum is to maintain a consistent aesthetic in the city. This builder told the city he wants a 45-foot setback. That’s a 30-foot deviation from the minimum. And the city just approved it.  

Why do we even have minimum requirements if you’re going to ignore them? Minimums should be just that. If you elected officials aren’t requiring minimum standards then you aren’t performing your jobs properly. In fact you are failing in your jobs … and failing us. You aren’t meeting the minimum requirements of your offices.  

We deserve better.   

Daniel Sobotka 

Hillside Road ∞