After about an hour of deliberation Monday night, the city council voted 5–2 against a rezoning petition to move a cemetery on Forbes Street in order to make room for a new supermarket.
Carl Erskine, a local developer, made the request and told the council that he would fully cover the cost of moving the graves to Peaceful Rest Cemetery. The chairman of the zoning committee confirmed that the supermarket would not cause any adverse effects to traffic patterns.
However, when the mayor opened up the floor to the audience, all but two of the twenty people that spoke were against the rezoning. Comments from the president of the Forbes Street Residents Association drew lots of applause from the audience.
“We’ve been fighting this thing for two years now,” Walt Dropo said, “ I’m sure that if you tried to move some of those stones, they would crumble in your hands. I can promise you that we will mount a campaign to recall any council member who votes for this thing.”
After the vote, the crowd cheer and most of them left the meeting, only about 35 people remaining.
The next vote was also a 5–2 decision for a one-cent sales tax to increase revenue for the city.
“The city desperately needs this money,” councilwoman Wilma Rudolf said, “or there is a chance that we’ll have to start laying off workers next year.”
The city treasurer agreed and said the tax would raise about $400,000 for the city next year.
The Mayor, however, was against the tax, stating that he thought the people were being overtaxed enough as it was and that most people wanted the budget cut, not expanded. The majority of the council did not see things the mayor’s way and voted for the tax.
Sales Tax Lead
On Monday night, the city council voted on a 5–2 decision for a one-cent sales tax proposal that was estimated to raise $400,000 for the city next year.