OP-ED: From the editor: Time to change the mind set

Published 7:26 am Saturday, October 24, 2020

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Dawn Burleigh,
General Manager/Editor

Apparently using the headline “West Orange closed for businesses” was a Democratic ploy according to a phone call from a West Orange City Council member.

I did ask if he was calling me a Democrat, but he said he was not but a misleading headline like that is something they would do.

Then the council member said the company in question had plenty of money and could afford to do as the ordinance stated.

“Isn’t that presumptuous to assume that just because they are a business owner means they have plenty of money?” I asked.

Not all businesses have fared equally during the COVID crisis and the two hurricanes that flew through our county. Many businesses are closing their doors while others are struggling to keep the doors open.

Yet, this person states the company in question asking for the ordinance variance can afford to do what the ordinance states in order to operate a RV Park at the location in question.

More to the point, I knew when I saw the item on the agenda that it would be denied and wondered why it was even put on the agenda in the first place.

Not only did I voice my opinion that the variance would be denied, but I also named which council member would deny it first. What I was not expecting were council members arguing for the variance. It offered a ray of hope.

Hope that despite the fact that many people want to keep doing things the way they have because that is how it has always been done and that maybe some are starting to look for a new, better, improved way.

COVID has been an annoying, aggravating, frustrating situation. Being the glass half full person, I started early on searching for a silver lining in this situation. Changing how we think and do things on a daily basis is just one of the bright rays of sunshine in all this.

I understand there was a reason for the ordinance to be passed in the first place, but to continually vote against any variance makes one wonder why the city adds the requests to the agendas for the council meeting.


Dawn Burleigh is general manager and editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at dawn.burleigh@orangeleader.com