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Letter to the editor
Chamber's mentality is badly misguided
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Forsyth County News
[James] McCoy of the Forsyth Chamber of Commerce states approval of a new development at McGinnis and 400 “represents a very, very important shift in the future of Forsyth County.”

A new, sprawling retail development in southern Forsyth County “represents” a shift in the wrong direction.

A negative shift that brings the unwanted peripherals associated with too much development. Our neighbor to the east, Gwinnett County, is a prime example of the downside of too much development. There is time to limit the wanton growth taking  place in our county. Our county leaders fail to see what we may become if some brakes and brains are not installed at the decision making level.   

The Chamber of Commerce is an enemy of concerned citizens who favor a slowdown of commercial development.  McCoy states Forsyth County is sorely underdeveloped in the retail area. How does he reach his conclusion? Does he not drive around the county?  

There are strip centers all over south Forsyth that have 50 percent occupancy and have been that way for years. The powers that be state large commercial developments like “The Avenue” generate huge sales tax receipts that benefit all of Forsyth County and its residents. If this is true, why is the county struggling to make its budget?

With so much new commercial development, the county doesn’t have the money to cover a 3 percent raise for the sherriff’s department? Ridiculous!

My commissioner, [Brian] Tam, who I’m sorry say to say was re-elected, is a huge proponent of this build to provide mentality. It doesn’t seem to work. The large residential developments with densities that are too high and unnecessary strip malls put a greater strain on police and fire departments, thereby leaving the county with no choice but to expand the departments at further cost to county residents.    

It’s time to abolish the Chamber of Commerce before it inflicts more damage on a county that is quickly abandoning what brought so many residents to this once bucolic area. Unfortunately, Commissioner Tam’s constituents decided four more years of pro-growth policies is acceptable. This constituent sees it differently.    

Mike Merck