I can’t remember when an issue has been so contentious and has evoked such strong opinions and emotions. I’m referring to the RaceTrac proposal before the Royal Palm Beach Village Council.
I’m concerned about the level of hostility, in part orchestrated by a person with obvious political ambition, rumored to be eying yet another run for a seat on the council in March of 2016.
It was nothing short of masterful in recruiting and building fervor just short of a riot, and it proved successful in disrupting the meeting where those opposed were to be given the same time as those in support of allowing a RaceTrac gas station to be built adjacent to the Royal Inn Hotel on property facing Southern Blvd. in area zoned commercial.
We can describe the entrance to the village at this point to be the “back door” to the village, as it is at the opposite end where the “front door” is at Okeechobee and Royal Palm Beach Blvd., and where the seat of governing is at village hall.
The site plan for the RaceTrac gas station actually allows more distance from any residential area than any other gas station complex in the village of Royal Palm Beach, which makes you wonder about the agenda offered by those opposed to it, who have willfully and deceitfully describe the distance as “too close” to residential areas.
Strong feelings persist, and there have been two postponements, but in order to be fair to both sides, cooler heads must prevail and civility and order must return to village meetings.
The right to dissent is inherent in our democracy, as is the right to be heard, but everyone should support the notion that those who support the proposition have the same rights as those who oppose it.
It should not be necessary to have police removing people. Disrupting the conduct of the meetings when not being recognized by the chair leads us down the slippery slope to anarchy.
Richard Nielsen, Royal Palm Beach