Elder continues her quest to re-open alley access

MEEKER — Samme Elder came before the board of trustees Nov. 4 requesting clarification of the board’s plans for the alley behind the post office.
“I had presented a letter to the board and didn’t feel that it had been answered. I was hoping to bring it to a vote, so I would know if it had been solved or if we just have to continue to wait,” Elder said. She owns the lot just north of the post office and has been actively campaigning to have the north-south alley access reopened for several months. At the last board meeting, she and several other property and business owners presented a petition with more than 100 citizen signatures supporting their position.
Mayor Mandi Etheridge addressed Elder’s question, stating, “The trustees decided this was not something we have to decide on now. For any changes we make in town, growth will be our biggest catalyst. I just don’t think based on what I heard from the board there was a legitimate reason to go forward on the basis of that letter. If you definitely want to go to a vote, we can put that on the agenda. I appreciate your request and all the information you’ve presented. We have your letter recorded and the discussion from the last meeting, but I don’t see a reason to go forward with this at this time.”
According to Town Attorney Gerry Viscardi, the petition itself did not mandate action from the board.
“I’ve got people asking me about it,” Elder said, “People who signed my letter, and I don’t know what to tell them about it. I just want the alley opened back up. I wish this discussion had taken place before the decision was made, and I guess I will have to keep coming here and bringing it before the board.”
Etheridge reiterated her position from the previous meeting:
“There doesn’t seem to be a real reason to change a decision made by a previous board at this time, based on inconvenience and property values. Forward progress isn’t made by looking back two years.”
Etheridge thanked Elder once again for her dedication to this issue, and for the research she unearthed about the history of the alley.