I thought our neighbors might benefit from reading Councilor Larry Tungets past letters describing his unwillingness to approve the establishment of a Redevelopment Commission (RDC) in Southport. His recent vote(s) to approve such an Ordinance that establishes an RDC astounds me.
In 2008, the astute Mr. Tunget was worried that an RDC would bring in “fresh business that would [hurt] existing business”. His logic then, and now confuses me. In 2009, Mr. Tunget encouraged the Southport Councilors to vote NO unless the council itself could control the committee. He knows very well that the statutes have not changed and commission seats remain a majority appointment by the mayor. He also wrote of his fear that the commission would serve offer personal gain for these new board members at the expense of citizens and taxpayers. In 2010, Larry interprets comments about an Asian business in Southport as “racial profiling” and another reason not to establish a Redevelopment Commission. A week later in a similar letter to the SSV editors, Larry writes that “[he] cannot see how such an agency [can benefit] the city’s 1,800 residents”.
Mr. Tungets hypocritical stance shouldn’t surprise anybody. Why didn’t he think an RDC was good for Southport years ago – before the central business began to deteriorate? I’m unsure why he didn’t he offer the same suggestions from his letters when his wife was mayor? Why doesn’t he voice those same written 2009 concerns of cronyism, favoritism and excessive expense today? It is probably because he was more concerned in 2008 about opposing progress instead of helping the City and supporting struggling businesses? Apparently, he is no longer concerned that “Mrs. A won’t be able to pay her heating bill” or that “Southport veteran Mr. B has to move from the neighborhood because of high property taxes” and he conveniently forgets the trouble that “Mr. & Mrs. C have in feeding or clothing their children” – for all the same reasons.
He and Councilor Harrison seem to have benefited from a political miracle. She too was aggin’it before she was affore’it. Now they both see what they could not see before. It appears that the scales have been lifted from their eyes. Praise the Lord!
Finally, a recent SSV article mistakenly described that Mayor Nanette Tunget was in favor of establishing an RDC. That interpretation was not entirely accurate and somewhat misleading. She too remained adamantly opposed to a Redevelopment Commission and commonly voiced many of the same opinions as does Larry in his 2008, 2009 and 2010 letters to the Council. You may remember his letter to the SSV editor of August of 2010 that repeats the same messages.