To the Editor:
On April 24, the Mt. Juliet City Commission heard the first of two readings regarding the proposed rezoning of the property at 810 Nonaville Road, otherwise known as Windtree Golf Course, and the associated development plan for this property.
Regrettably, the commission gave its approval of this first reading. If the commission gives its approval to the second reading on this matter, it will ultimately result in the significant diminishment of the quality of life in Mt. Juliet.
There are a number of attributes that fall under the quality-of-life category. In this particular matter, the attributes at stake are ease of travel on the community’s highways and recreational and leisure opportunities.
Since this matter first came before the Mt. Juliet Planning Commission in May of last year, a number of residents have made known how disruptive the proposed development of the Windtree property would be to the traffic on Nonaville Road. The major concerns are the morning rush-hour traffic at the intersection of Nonaville Road and Lebanon Road and the significant traffic that would be entering and exiting the proposed large residential development.
During the past year, the city and the developer have arrived at a plan to improve Nonaville Road. At first blush, this might seem to be a good thing. However, upon deeper consideration, one realizes the proposed improvements only resolve the existing morning rush-hour issues. Once the proposed development is completed, traffic will return to the present conditions. At the April 24 meeting, the commission spent nearly an hour and a half discussing this issue. On several occasions, various commissioners said the proposed improvements to Nonaville Road were “causing” them “heartburn.” How is it possible one comprehends how there will be severe traffic issues, yet votes in favor of approval?
One of the things that many, if not most, people look for when considering a city as their possible place to live is leisure and recreational opportunities. Windtree Golf Course, as the only golf course in Mt. Juliet, serves this function for the city. In fact, if one visits the Mt. Juliet website, they will find a nice video promoting the city. One of the attributes the video promotes is leisure and recreational opportunities and, what is one of those opportunities featured in the video? That would be Windtree Golf Course. It would be the height of hypocrisy for the city to use Windtree Golf Course to promote the city and then take action that results in the demise of that very asset.
Consider Mt. Juliet High School, Mt. Juliet Middle School, Mt. Juliet Christian Academy, Friendship Christian Academy and Cumberland University use Windtree as their home course. And let us not forget the new high school that will be within a mile of Windtree. Where will these schools play? Additionally each year, a significant number of businesses and organizations conduct outings at Windtree. Among those organizations is the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce. How embarrassing would it be for the organization that represents the businesses of Mt. Juliet to have to go outside of Mt. Juliet to host an outing? Further, I would point out that a number of these organizations and businesses are not in Mt. Juliet, and in many cases, not in Wilson County. Thus, when they come to Windtree, Mt. Juliet is showcased.
Since this matter first came up in May of last year, I have corresponded with the commission, expressing my arguments against this proposed project and have provided them with several ideas as to how to preserve Windtree as a golf course. At no time has any member of the commission provided any logical, cogent and fact-based argument for approving this proposed development. The only argument I have heard is that this is a business decision, and Mr. Hale has the right to request the rezoning and development of the property.
Let us be clear. Mr. Hale has the right to pursue the rezoning and the development. However, that does not impose any obligation or responsibility upon the commission to approve said requests. Let us suppose that tomorrow a neighbor of a commissioner wakes up and says to himself, “You know I am never going to be able to retire. I am working two jobs. My wife works. We never go anywhere on vacation. We are frugal to the point of being cheap. We need more income. I know we have this big detached garage. We could do some remodeling to it and convert it into a bar and strip club. Then, we would be rolling in the money.” Now this neighbor of the commissioner has made a business decision. Do you really think the commission is going to approve this rezoning request?
The obligation and the responsibility of the commission is to serve the best interests of the citizens of Mt. Juliet. The proposed rezoning and development of Windtree Golf Course does not serve the best interests of the citizens of Mt. Juliet. Citizens of Mt. Juliet should contact your district commissioner and let him know that this project must not be approved, and attend the May 8 commission meeting to express your opposition.
Former nurse seems OK with denying people health insurance
To the Editor:
As a human being who is not impervious to germs, viruses, colds, headaches and other health ailments, I have been watching the debate over the new Affordable Health Care Act plan – the Republicans’ attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Anyone who’s ever been to the doctor should be watching, too.
The first plan failed, in large part, because it allowed insurance carriers to outright deny people with pre-existing conditions. Even though it had 17 percent approval, Wilson County’s Congressional representative Diane Black cheered mightily for it.
Now, here comes the “new-and-improved” version, which would basically allow the states to allow insurance carriers to jack up premiums for people with pre-existing conditions. In other words, the good news is that people won’t be denied coverage – it’ll just be so costly people won’t afford it. A recent estimate said premiums could go as high as $25,000 per year.
For the record, Black went on CNN last week and said she supports the new bill – even though she seemed to admit she had no idea what was new about it. Hmm.
I’m unsure which is worse, a former nurse who doesn’t take her constituents’ health seriously or a former nurse who has no problem with people unable to have access to health insurance because they were once sick. Either way, it’s truly a shame and certainly leaves the impression Black is just another career politician who treats Wilson County as a pathway to the trough.