DALTON: Beliefs aren’t facts

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Jeff Crandall’s “My Turn” (The Press, Feb. 2) about the Dalton Gardens recall effort is certainly artfully argued, as we would expect from an attorney. But I encourage readers to pay attention to how many sentences begin with the words “We believe.” These words are a clever way to pave the road for advancing beliefs as facts. Beliefs and facts are not the same thing.

Mr. Crandall talks about the Save Dalton group being mischaracterized as a group expressing themselves “emotionally,” therefore irrationally. Yet Crandall’s description of the council as a group of people who just have a “different vision” of Dalton Gardens is a mischaracterization. Again this is just a clever way to paint the council in a light that makes it easier for a lawyer to “argue the case.”

Intelligence is a wonderful thing. But when a person’s intelligence is used to make the same kinds of mischaracterizations it claims to abhor, the power of the argument is diminished. And worse, it promotes divisiveness in the community.

These council members live in Dalton just like Mr. Crandall. They live here for many of the same reasons he does. And they are individuals, not a “group vision.” Their efforts to make the right decision about the Streeter property were based on legal advice they received, including a recommendation from Judge John Stegner, a judge who currently serves on the Idaho Supreme Court. He advised the city to settle, as they ultimately did. Speculations about whether the legal advice the city received was correct or not is one thing. Characterizing the motives of the council as anything other than due diligence is quite another.

As for the Fourth Street improvements, Mr. Crandall’s complaints are about decisions that haven’t even been made yet. Interested parties are continuing to weigh in with council about what they’d like to see or not see happen there. I am one of those parties weighing in. I’m quite sure I’m not the only one.

The insinuation embedded in Mr. Crandall’s My Turn, that this council is trying to run their vision over the town they live in and the people they live with, is the biggest mischaracterization of them all.

The problem with the entire recall effort is it throws into one basket speculations about the motives of the council with speculations about legal outcomes. These speculations are an extremely poor reason to attempt the recall of an entire elected body.

STEPHEN D. BRUNO

Dalton Gardens

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