Archive for Thursday, December 21, 2000

City should fight, fund its own legal battles


December 21, 2000

With all due respect to a neighborhood group that is filing a lawsuit against the city over the annexation of the Sunflower Quarry, we have to question the city and its course of action this week.

Allowing Hunt Midwest, owners of the quarry, to handle all legal expenses regarding the matter is a bad move by the city of DeSoto.

It gives the impression it is in bed with Hunt Midwest.

It gives the impression the city cares little about those residents who live near the quarry.

And, it makes us wonder if members of this city council truly believe in the policies they set.

When it sets policy, it needs to be willing to defend that policy, regardless of the monetary cost. While it is convenient not to have to pay to defend this policy, it sends out some extremely negative messages.

If the city council honestly believes that annexing the land is best for DeSoto, it should defend that stance on its own. This issue has nothing to do with Hunt Midwest. Regardless of whether the land is annexed by DeSoto there are still going to be community members who live near a quarry.

That said, what does Hunt Midwest stand to gain from the annexation?

The fact that it is willing to fork over thousands of dollars in legal fees makes us wonder.

Who is Hunt Midwest defending: the city of DeSoto or itself?

We believe it is the latter.

Hunt Midwest is in the business of making money. We have no problem with that. However, it does not usually pay the legal fees of municipalities it deal with. So why is it willing to do so for DeSoto?

If the city of DeSoto wants to avoid this scrutiny, it should separate itself from Hunt Midwest with regard to the lawsuit. It should do what's best for DeSoto and its citizens and if that means defending the reasons for annexation in the court of law, then so be it.

Money buys plenty.

However, it should never purchase legislation.

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