Mr. Smith rhapsodizes about making affordable housing “a top strategic priority” in his opinion piece in last week’s Xpress [“These Three Things,” Feb. 5, Xpress]. Yet in 2010, after listening to at least two hours of folks and families from Royal Pines, including fixed-income and disabled veterans, pleading with City Council not to do so because so many in this working-class neighborhood couldn't possibly bear the brunt of such an increase in property taxes, he and Brownie Newman, famous Democrats, cast votes for annexation. [Republican] Bill Russell and [Democrat] Jan Davis voted against. Mayor Bellamy voted against, claiming lack of sufficient funds to bring improvements to the area to justify annexation. Esther Manheimer and Cecil Bothwell, the only council member who bothered to check us out for himself, changed their votes. I find Mr. Smith's article nauseating to say the least.
— Diana LaSpada