Monday, April 13, 2009 at 1:32pm

As President of Cherokee Park Neighborhood Association, I have been involved in the discussions regarding the new Marriott Residence Inn at Murphy Road and I-440, just as I have been involved in the discussions regarding the widening of West End, the historic zoning overlay for Cherokee Park, etc.

I must tell you that the integrity and caring attitude of Councilman Whitmore is the only reason the neighborhood associations were able to have any influence on the hotel design, the rezoning or anything at all. The bottom line reason for that is that the proposed hotel is in Councilman Whitmore's district and the neighborhood associations are in several other councilmanic districts.

With that being the case something called "councilmanic courtesy" takes over. The unwritten law of the council is that zoning issues belong exclusively to the councilman in that district and no other council person wants to go against what the local councilman wants in his own district.

But Councilman Whitmore asked for a meeting with the neighborhood leaders after he heard of our concerns, heard us out but decided to proceed with the rezoning, until many neighbors of the property showed up at the council, opposed to the rezoning.

He had the votes to pass the rezoning on second reading but once again agreed to hear our pleas and fears and persuaded the developer to accept the PUD.

Councilman Whitmore is truly a gentleman of the city and not just of his district. The surrounding neighborhood associations are indebted to him for that decision. We publicly say thank you to him and look forward to many

pleasant dealings with him in the future.


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