November 2, 2012
On Friday, Oct. 19, an Aegis article was published concerning the (DAC) Development Advisory Committee's review of the Bel Air Walmart proposal which took place the previous Wednesday.
Upon careful review of the concept plan, I submitted to DAC a detailed letter expressing my specific concerns and suggestions for numerous development restrictions. My letter re-iterated previously expressed concern over the location and scope of this project. Copies of each correspondence have been provided to community leaders, the applicant, property owner, interested parties and The Aegis.
Unexpectedly my letter to DAC was met with an apparent attempt to censor my legitimate right of expression. As reported in the article County Council President Billy Boniface "called the Aegis late Wednesday to clarify that Lisanti's position had not been vetted by the council and she was not speaking on behalf of the council."
It is completely irrational to imply that a letter written by me, signed by me, voicing my opinion and those I represent is somehow in need of clarification or requires Council approval. Clearly, this is a pointless act and not relevant to chairmanship duties.
It shall be understood that while the County Charter requires the Council to act as a body in legislative functions, it does not limit the freedom of expression. As an elected official I hold sacred my duty to lead and speak opening on public issues facing our community. More importantly as a citizen of a free nation I am obligated to defend liberty without fear of scorn and public reprimand by those in power.
It is my hope that this clash can be explained by an impulsive act or mere misunderstanding. I welcome the opportunity to meet with my respected colleague so we can clear the air and resume the collaborative relationship we have built during our years together serving the citizens of this great County.
Mary Ann Lisanti