At the end of the April 20 Board of County Supervisors meeting, there was an exchange between Supervisor Jeanine Lawson and Chair Ann Wheeler. After Wheeler said there were no land-use cases to discuss at the upcoming May 9 evening session and recommended canceling it, Lawson asked whether a vote on the Devlin Technology Park could be scheduled.

This controversial proposal has dangled menacingly over the head of Bristow residents since its vote was deferred from March 7.

Wheeler refused to schedule a vote for either May 9 or May 23. So Lawson requested they conduct a joint town hall on May 9 to discuss the future of the project with affected residents. Wheeler’s response was: “I don’t intend to have a joint town hall with you, ever.”

You wouldn’t think an elected representative would openly exhibit such obvious disregard for her constituents. But then who does Wheeler really represent?

A recent report of donations to her reelection campaign provides a telling roadmap of her loyalties. Devlin Technology Park’s developer, Stanley Martin, is listed, as is land speculator Chuck Kuhn and several developers, construction unions and trade associations. A few actual county residents are sprinkled in to improve the optics. This is no voice of the people.

What can citizens do when their elected representative practices “selective representation”? They can exercise their democratic right to replace them with a more responsive official. Exercise that right in the June 20 primary.

– Dr. Steve Pleickhardt, Bristow

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