“Well, first of all, this has been such a highly emotional issue for our entire community. I think it’s complex and I think there are several things that need to be addressed. First and foremost, I absolutely understand the parents’ concerns and I think we can all agree that the safety of our children has got to be our #1 priority. There’s no question that’s my #1 priority and that should be our community’s #1 priority. Secondly, I think as has already been noted, these small business owners have done nothing illegal. They are in compliance with all state and county regulations. They got permission from the county to make the move from their previous location which was just a few blocks away from their current location. So I think now we’re at a point where we have to talk about as adults and as leaders what can be done.
I believe that it is the role of leaders at any level to calmly address how we balance the fears and concerns of the parents with the legitimate rights of the business owners, and so therefore I commend the MCA for the action that you took recently to appoint a small group to work with all parties to quickly propose a solution to address concerns on both sides, and I think that’s the only reasonable thing to do. That’s what we must do, and as a leader, that’s what I would have done. I know John has already addressed that there are very few things really that can be done at the county level other than addressing potentially some zoning changes. So here’s where I disagree with the way that my opponent has handled the situation. I believe it is the role of elected officials to do something about solving the problem, to de-escalate the situation and work with both parties to come to resolution. It is not the role of our elected leaders to publicly insult law-abiding business owners, and in my opinion, to fan the flames of an issue and only make worse the fears of the parents for political gain. And that is absolutely not what I would have done…..My opponent says he’s working to find resolution, he has not met with any of the business owners, he has not talked to the MCA, this has been all talk and no action, and it’s time for action, and I can tell you that if I had been the supervisor of this district it would not have gotten to this point to begin with.”