Arby's issue "beyond unfair"

I read with interest the article regarding the zoning Board's attempt to force its will on Arby's owner Tom Slonaker [News, "See you in court," January 9, 2002] (http://www.readthehook.com/92928/news-see-you-court-arbys-owner-has-beef...). I respect his fortitude. I would like to poke some holes in County spokesperson Lee Catlin's arguments.

First, her argument that posters in the windows create a safety issue because the police cannot see the registers is ridiculous because it would be perfectly legal for Mr. Slonaker to tint the windows limousine black.

Second, calling his van a "sign" and not allowing him to park in front of his own business is beyond unfair. There are numerous businesses who don't have any parking behind their buildings and must park company vans in front by default. Why should Mr. Slonaker be punished because he owns a business with available parking in the rear? Perhaps we should make the Ford dealer hide all of his cars in the back. If 100 new cars all in a row is not a giant advertisement, then what is?

Thirdly, the statement that "The community has high expectations of visual quality" is ridiculous. It is unreasonable to pick on Arby's, when within a half of a mile there is an abandoned motel, a 50-year-old run-down strip mall, and a used car lot that is over flowing with cars right up to the road.

The real criminals here are the snobs who are so selfish that they will waste their fellow taxpayers' money enforcing technicalities in their litle corner of the county while real crimes go unsolved, schools lack supplies, and job training programs stay underfunded.

The real way to handle this would be for the complainers to put up a bond, and let the judge decide who pays both sides' expenses. At least that way there would be a check on the busybodies.

Mitchell Carr
Howardsville
Tjscrazy@aol.com