As I predicted, Congressman David Scott has apparently prevailed in his efforts to overrule the vast majority of his Inman Park (Atlanta) neighbors regarding the location of a proposed community garden. According to Atlanta's Creative Loafing alt-weekly,
Garden Committee chair Carolyn McLaughlin tells CL the group has decided to withdraw the project’s application, which today was set to be heard for the seventh time by the city’s Urban Design Commission.
She writes: “If we made the UDC vote on our application and they voted it down, it could mean that community gardens would not be allowed anywhere in Freedom Park. We decided that we could not do that to another neighborhood.”
Garden proponents, who had planned the project for more than six months, scouted more than 10 possible sites in Freedom Park. An area along Hurt Street was determined to be ideal. But some residents who lived near the site — including Congressman David Scott, whose brick mansion is located across the street — opposed the concept. They claimed the garden could lead to parking problems and congestion, among other concerns.
A neighborhood meeting marked by he-said/she-said accusations, heated rhetoric and even a personal plea from the congressman ended without a resolution. The community’s listserv got even rowdier. Garden advocates and residents attempted to strike a compromise, we’re told, but talks appear to have broken down.
In other words, rather than have their effort struck down thanks to political pressure from David Scott, the Inman gardeners were forced to pack up and move. Nice guy, my congressman.
Ironically, Scott, who lives in Inman Park and is an absentee "representative" of the 13th Congressional District, was caught not paying his property taxes to the tune of $23,200 back in 2007. Scott was also "honored" that year by being listed as one of the "Most Corrupt" members of Congress by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington in '07, after having missed over $164,000 in income tax payments. At that point, he'd collecting over 40 tax liens on his homes (including a $702,000 residence in D.C.) and businesses.