Saturday, January 12, 2008

Monticello Resident's Letter - Ross Murphy

Here's a letter from Ross Murphy, a long time Monticello resident:

On December 14, Matthew Schmitz, a Shawnee civil engineer and Mrs.Easterwood, an appraiser working for Shawnee, came to examine my property at 71st and Monticello Road.

They want to obtain an easement for two years that will let them park trucks and excavation equipment on my front lawn and to dump rubble on it for the same period, until they can use it elsewhere.

I examined their latest map and saw an ominous addition. There is now shown a projected island blocking my driveway. I asked Mr. Schmitz how I was to exit my driveway if I wanted to go north, considering that the island would block my left-turn exit, or to go south, as this would require me to back and fill in the soon-to-be busy boulevard.

His answers were that it would be both too dangerous and too illegal.I asked what was the rationale for having an island so injudiciously placed. I asked other embarassing questions. He couldn't answer my questions at the time, which I could understand, as my questions have no logical answers.

Mr. Schmitz told me that he or his project manager would respond to my questions, by letter, that is, in writing. Twenty-two days of my diminishing life have now passed away without a response. In corporate America, where long did I labor, an inquiry from a customer or a stockholder required an answer within three days. No responsible organization wants to risk losing a customer or a part owner, because
they are the ones who fund the salary system of the organization. This is why they are treated so politely and carefully. Of course, they wouldn't have to be so polite if they were taking the money at the pistol's point.

This is assuredly so, even though I am a good customer, paying Shawnee many thousands of dollars each year, almost $140,000 so far for the past 38 years. I am also a part owner of Shawnee, as evidenced by my deed.

I'm a good citizen too, having worked for no pay for six years, day and night, as a fire fighter. I'm a good citizen of our motherland also, having volunteered to risk my life for four years on the high seas in time of war.

Surely by now the project manager has had the time to question why such a hazardous impediment should be installed to block the passage of automobiles, trucks, school buses and bicyclists right in front of a good customer's driveway. So why not take a few minutes to tell me?

But thus it is with almost all the questions posed without answer to the denizens of the craziest building on Johnson Drive, the Shawnee City Hall. None of the customers in the Monticello area are given answers to questions; answers that are kept secret from the citizens, that will require millions of dollars of additional taxes from the people of our town to solve. Once the digging starts, and the answers are grudgingly revealed, more money will be demanded at the pistol's point, because
the juggernaut, once it starts to roll down Monticello Road, cannot be stopped.If they cannot afford the postage, which I also understand, why not have my letter delivered to me by the omnipresent surveyors and flag planters to which we are and have been, paying millions?

I have asked my chosen agent, councilwoman Michelle Distler, who is always prompt and polite, and honest, as those with the secret information allow her to be, to inquire of the people who draw the maps, that are then turned into lovely concrete, why I have had no response. I hope they will show to her the same courtesy I extended to the "engineer" those many weary weeks ago who wants to drive the
trucks and dump the rocks on my front lawn.