There is only one issue which is how did nine people come to sign on to a resolution before it was ever introduced without ever having a discussion about it with anyone? Obviously that's not possible and the Open Meetings Act must have been violated. To my knowledge only one council member has admitted how it happened, Martavious Jones said Allen Wade called him and asked him to sponsor it. At least Jones had the sense to see where this was headed after a chamber full of angry voters asked for a delay. It looks like Wade got them into this mess. We'll see if he can get them, and himself out of it.
First, if it had not been for a handful of Central High students putting their lawn chairs in the way one nice morning in 2014, we might not have seen this coming in time to still be able to protest now. next, if what the Zoo is doing to the Greensward is bad and we haven't been given any other way to voice our opposition, then it's not bad to protest. It is bad to harass make the Zoo patron unhappy, but that can be avoided. The number of people involved goes up every time people show up to support the Greensward. The argument that it makes the cause looks bad is a red herring like every other argument about like access to the poor or disparaging who the Greensward supporters are on a personal level. At the end of the day, this is about the money the Zoo makes from parking on a Zoo fee lot. Unless that problem is solved it won't go away. The Zoo has been combative and deceptive about this from the beginning. They won't talk about how little revenue they generate compared to their huge operating costs, their dependency on added fees, and our tax money to get by every year. Chuck Brady told the City in an email that Greensward parking translates to $900,000 to a million per year in total revenue. Even when the visitors park nearby and walk, as we've seen they will do, the Zoo is losing 100's of thousands annually. The huge capital campaigns for exhibits doesn't help any of that. The amount of tourist dollars they contribute to the economy doesn't help the Zoo if they lose this income. They need to be honest about their business model and stop making up false arguments so we can get to a solution on this. Should have happened years, no decades ago.
I had the exact opposite experience with the County a few weeks ago for a client. It's true the website doesn't have enough information to figure out how to qualify for a permit. You need to physically go down there to pull permit anyway. They have compliance information printed out. I also found Mr. Sawyer and the staff there able to answer every questions I had. Good luck, I wanted to try one of your smoothies.
By Chris Davis, Susan Ellis, Toby Sells, and Maya Smith
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