Successes due to hard work by businesses, not town council
This letter was sent to La Plata Town Councilman Lynn Gilroy. A copy was sent to the Maryland Independent.
The businesses of La Plata are glad that you feel our Shop La Plata event was an “outstanding success,” as you noted in the recent Town Notes. However, we would like to clarify for our town residents that many businesses do not feel that the town council is “fostering a better relationship with businesses and encouraging people to shop La Plata,” especially not regarding this successful event.
Let me highlight the roles the town played in the La Plata Business Association’s Shop La Plata event:
• The town denied our requests for a moratorium during the holiday season that would allow local businesses to freely advertise their services, special events and community support. Such a moratorium was provided in 2015 with much success;
• The town also denied our requests to hang “Shop La Plata” banners over Charles Street despite having received approval from the State Highway Administration (who maintains the road) and SMECO (who owns the poles the sign would be attached to). These banners were allowed in 2015 due to the sign moratorium; however, in 2016, the town decided it was too difficult to determine criteria to be used in the approval of events worthy of street banners and therefore will now deny all street banner requests. Event coordinators then had to bypass town government and seek approval from county commissioners to display informational signage on county government fences and privately-owned property outside of the Town of La Plata; and
• We were happy and grateful to have the town participate in our holiday parade by riding on the fire truck graciously donated by the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department. However, your parade application stated Santa Claus would be riding on the truck with you. But you were unable to provide Santa Claus on the day of the parade.
We realize the town council election is quickly approaching and it is tempting to credit yourself for the many positive happenings in the town over the last several years. But let’s refrain from rewriting history. These are just a few examples of the mayor and town council’s lack of support for local small business. There are many other examples that could be easily cited.
The members of the La Plata Business Association and all the businesses of La Plata have worked exceedingly hard over the last several years to make our events successful. Our success is not a result of your involvement, but despite it.
Keith Grasso, La Plata The writer is the owner of Island Music Company.