Feb 082013
 

Anthony Burman
Mayor Pro Tem

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Marvin from Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Burman

As Mayor Pro Tem for the Village of Marvin I believe that you as residents should be kept informed and deserve to know the truth about projects currently underway or being considered. This is my response to the politically motivated and inaccurate flyer you received in your newspaper boxes this past week by a small, vocal minority of residents and non-residents.

It is disappointing that there is a segment in our community that continues to spread half-truths, hyperbole, and scare-tactics for personal benefit. The ironic part of the letter is that the author is not saying the Village shouldn’t build a community center or Village Hall, but that the Village shouldn’t build it at Marvin-Efird Park. The letter even states “Yes, it would be nice to have a Center for the Village…” The author wants a new building, but it has to be where they want it located.

In the summer of 2010, when the Village of Marvin made the first offer to purchase the 27.67 acres of land on New Town Road, there was always the intention that this land would fulfill the number one desire of all previous Village surveys, which was a passive park (meaning no athletic fields or structured recreation, other than a playground). Part of the draw to this property was the idea that the old Efird family home could be renovated into a community center and/or Village Hall. Engineering and architectural studies show that it would be more cost-effective to build anew than to renovate the existing house and bring it up to commercial code.

The concept of a community center at Marvin-Efird Park has been discussed for a period of years. There are many examples – here are just three:

1. At the September 14, 2010 Council meeting, the Council held a Public Hearing and later adopted Resolution RS-2010-09-01, which included a community center as an intended use at Marvin-Efird Park.

2. An article in the October 1, 2010 issue of the Union County Weekly titled “A park that makes cents” quoted Councilman Ron Salimao stating that he envisioned a community center in the park.

3. The Village’s PARTF Grant Application, approved at the January 13, 2011 Council meeting, has discussion about a community center.

When Councilman Salimao and I ran for office in 2009, we literally spoke to more than one thousand people about our platform and issues facing the Village. People couldn’t believe there was no park, no community center, and that the Village Hall was still being rented.

Some other issues I would like to address are:

1. What are presented in the letter as facts are either incorrect or taken out of context. For example, the letter quotes a figure for our rent, but does not take into account other costs of the rental. The fact the author chose to only represent one figure, when the actual cost-benefit was readily available, begs the question: Did the author do their homework, or did they cherry-pick what figures they wanted to include to manipulate you? Either way, the heart of the issue is their credibility.

2. In addition, the letter states, “At this rate the payback on spending just the $400,000 is more than 30 years.” Using the author’s logic, it would be much cheaper for everyone if they stayed in their first apartment and not purchase a house, as it will take 30 years to pay your house off. If our analysis leads us to do this project, it will be paid off in 2.5 to 6 years – NO borrowing costs and NO tax increase necessary.

3. The letter states this can “cost you a lot more than $400,000, maybe as much as $700,000.” I’m not sure where the $700,000 figure came from, as there’s been no discussion of spending anywhere near that amount. By contrast, every other municipality in the county that has built or is building a new town hall has spent over $1 million, with the exception of Mineral Springs, who still spent more than Marvin plans.

4. The letter states this will be “a community center you can rent. Yep a taxpayer subsidized service you can ‘rent’ for more of your dollars.” There are only four out of more than 20 subdivisions in Marvin that have clubhouses, and those residents who already pay for the clubhouse with their HOA dues have to pay to “rent” their facility, including a number of people known to be distributing the letter in question. This community center will provide an amenity that more than 80% of the subdivisions do not have, in addition to providing revenue (not factored into the letter) for the Village, similar to the barn at the park.

5. The letter makes alternative suggestions for allocating money in addition to supporting a new community center at a different location. While these are all noble ideas, they are nothing but red herrings used to divert attention away from the discussion at hand – which is really not about a building at all. You already pay for these ideas through the appropriate taxing authorities, the county, and your separate fire tax.

6. Finally, the letter states “One Councilman suggested a public private partnership in an open and accessible parcel of land elsewhere to defray the cost. The rest of the Council ignored this suggestion.” I believe all members of the Council would embrace a concept such as this, but the Councilman put no proposal on the table.

You elected me because I look at all the facts, am detail-oriented, ask the tough questions, and know my commitment to open and transparent government. Those who know me know that I base my decisions and votes on those reasons; not political pressure, emotion, or pressure from “special-interest groups”, including those masquerading themselves as “concerned citizens” hiding behind anonymity.

I encourage you to contact your elected officials, attend meetings, and stay involved. An informed and engaged public is what makes a good community a great community. Once informed, I ask that you base your opinions on fact, not fiction.

{Signed}

Anthony J. Burman
Mayor Pro Tem
Village of Marvin
February 7, 2013

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  2 Responses to “An Open Letter to the Citizens of Marvin”

  1. Editor:

    It is very sad to see a Councilman so upset with what his constituents have been trying to tell the Village Council of Marvin. He attacks them with bully tactics continually. We have freedom of speech. At least, he had to respond. His rant at the last VC meeting was deplorable.

    How do they (VC) intend to pay for the village community center? I have been to the meetings where they say they have the money and how well they have taken care of the citizens of Marvin, but there is no new cost analysis for the next 5 or even 10 years down the road. This is necessary due to the other priorities like traffic due to new developments and first responders. They hope that Toll Brothers (developers of the new Preserve at Marvin) will put up most of the money to fix Newtown and Marvin roads but I have not seen that confirmed. We have just seen the projected plan.
    He and two of the other Village of Marvin Councilmen are pushing so hard for this new town hall and community center that YES we wanted but over 5 years ago. That was before the economy was showing signs that it was not coming back. Our own developments have amenities and those that don’t spend time at their churches, the library, and other centers. There is no reported NEED for a new community center.
    The $400k is what they say is ALL that they will spend. Well, they have not taken in account the new out building,new tools and caretaker to watch over the new gardens and Town Hall. The new landscaping and maintenance thereof. Nor the late night security and extra patrols. And, dare say, the new event planner that they are so sure of that they will need to plan events that will bring in the much needed revenue. They believe they can get up to $5000 per wedding. Well, they need a state of the art kitchen, furnished dining hall and a paved parking lot to begin with.

    Yes, it will be cheaper than Weddington’s and Waxhaw’s new town halls but why is there the need to do what they do? Because the Village Council says they do not want to be a “paper” town. They say we need more respect. More services. I say we moved here for low taxes and the country feel = the paper town. It is fine for most folks. The survey they sent out was so skewed to building that is made most citizens not want to turn their surveys in. Not that was a wise choice ,but it puts a light on how the community feels about ramming new spending down their throats.

    What is so repugnant is that they continue to not listen to the people of Marvin and that they are passing this passive park off to all of those around it. Well, I am not so sure that this passive park will be passive any longer. It will be invasive to those subdivisions surrounding it. I wish someone would interview those that live in Waldon Pond to see if the promises that Marvin stated will stand true or will there be lights and parties late into the night!!! No more crickets and peaceful nights for them!

    Citizen of Marvin

    • Amen Brother! If it would be possible, I would secede my property from VC!

      Marvin School Rd. Resident

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