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County Commission tables decision on veterans sanctuary

Tuesday, March 3, 2009 | 11:41 p.m. CST; updated 9:44 p.m. CST, Wednesday, March 4, 2009

COLUMBIA — No decision was reached by the Boone County Commission on Tuesday night concerning David Sallee's requests for a veterans sanctuary. After more than three hours of discussion and testimony from Sallee, his supporters and his opponents, the commission still felt there were many questions to answer.

Tuesday's meeting served as an opportunity for Sallee to appeal the Boone County Planning and Zoning Commission's Feb. 19 ruling, which unanimously denied Sallee's two requests for a waste water lagoon and a veterans sanctuary on his property located approximately 3,000 feet from the intersection of Mt. Zion Road and Hecht Road.

After hours of hearing from both sides, commission members tabled the discussion to reflect further on the appeal.

"I want to make sure we make an informed decision," said Karen Miller, District I Commissioner. "We've received a lot of information from both sides of the fence."

In lieu of their decision, the commission has asked both Sallee and the lawyer speaking for Tom Schneider, the lawyer for the 18 neighbors opposed to Sallee's request, to submit their cases in writing, using each of the seven conditions under a conditional-use agreement to provide their arguments.

Six neighbors of Sallee spoke in opposition to his requests, citing reasons such as lack of adequate water supply and fire protection, parking, safe roads and transportation. It was called into question whether Sallee's trailers and waste water lagoon were placed too closely to the edges of his land. Further worries are that no real services will be provided to veterans, the project is not consistent with the city's master plan and there is no way to ensure "effective and timely enforcement."

Gerald Mueller, speaking for the attorney of 18 neighbors who oppose the project, said there does not appear to be a public necessity for the sanctuary.

"There is no adequate or reliable infrastructure to support (the sanctuary)," Mueller said.

Five showed up to speak in support of Sallee's project, including homeless veteran Scott Byars.

"We're screwing up your city," Byars said to the commission. "We're screwing up your downtown. Give us somewhere to go."

Sallee and Schneider must submit documents to the commission by March 16, giving the commission two weeks to compare the cases point by point. The next public hearing will be held March 31, when the commission will reach a decision.


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Comments

Ray Shapiro March 4, 2009 | 4:01 a.m.

Nice to know the manner in which our Hallsville neighbors support our men and women who put their lives at risk and return from service to our country, with PTSD, etc. and then are told that "we don't want your kind" around us.
Sallee doesn't want to open up a leper colony, just a safe haven for veterans who feel the need to live away from the stress of "city living."
On-site services for such a "santuary" requires nothing more than comradarie. To imply that these guys can't live on Sallee's property, without on-site mental/medical health care is B.S.
Heck, I'd personally be willing to drive any of Sallee's veterans to the VA hospital or into Columbia, on an as-needed basis, should Services for Independent Living not be able to get out to Hallsville to assist these guys.
How provincial have we become?
How Christian?
How unAmerican!

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr March 4, 2009 | 5:08 a.m.

I bet they never thought of volunteer nursing students helping out did they,making weekly visits or nurses helping from the local V.A. too. How about Integrity Home and Health Care?

It is veterans helping veterans since it seems nobody else wants to but they sure liked it when our veterans were out there shedding their life's blood and putting their lives on the line so they could sit in safety at home.

Is Hallsville really full of hypocrites or real Americans who truly care is the real question that should be asked here by everybody.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz March 4, 2009 | 7:41 a.m.

Spoken like a couple guys who probably haven't spent much time in Hallsville...

(Report Comment)
Joe City March 4, 2009 | 11:31 a.m.

Or have any idea how planning and zoning works John.

(Report Comment)
John Schloot March 4, 2009 | 11:45 a.m.

Thanks John and Joe for your comments. Ray and Chuck have no idea what is really going on with this issue. It is a land use issue. PERIOD. This "sanctuary" is NOT located in Hallsville but rather in the county. It does not meet the infrastructure requirements to meet zoning ordinances, which were put into place by YOU, the voters of Boone County. It is blatant spot zoning. P & Z simply did their job in upholding the will of the voters of this County, by denying this request from Mr. Sallee. Now, maybe Ray and Chuck should make an effort to learn more about the Hallsville community before throwing darts. Just this week, Hallsville citizens opened a clinic, on their own without the help of any hospital or government agency, to assist all of north Boone County. Financed by the community and operated by civic minded people. Hallsville is terrific!

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr March 4, 2009 | 12:27 p.m.

>>> Just this week, Hallsville citizens opened a clinic, on their own without the help of any hospital or government agency, to assist all of north Boone County. Financed by the community and operated by civic minded people. <<<

John Schloot well then why don't you open your area to this Sanctuary too instead of acting all uppity and not wanting to help the guy out.

My statement still stands.

If it smells like cow dung on your shoe then obviously you stepped into. It smells like Hallsville is full of it and I can smell it here in Columbia when the wind blows South bound.

(Report Comment)
John Schloot March 4, 2009 | 12:33 p.m.

I simply do not understand your comment on opening up a sanctuary in "my area". I have no land that would fit the zoning requirements. Uppity? No. Informed? Yes.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro March 4, 2009 | 2:42 p.m.

John:
Excuse me for thinking that this is going on in Hallsville. I must have misunderstood one of the original articles which I read awhile back...

http://columbiamissourian.com/stories/20...

Also, while I have enjoyed the company of many Hallsville residents at potluck gatherings and dances, my comment (and desired impact) is based on the following:

1. During an open meeting with more than 20 witnesses, a P&Z member conveyed her personal disdain for Mr. Sallee and conveyed that she would personally see to it that Mr. Sallee would never get approval for his Veteran Sanctuary due to his "volitile" nature, regardless of legal compliance.
(She also conveyed that she would advocate the same for other P&Z members as well.)
2. 18 of his "neighbors" choose to stand in his way, via legal recourse, instead of extending a helping hand.
3. While Mr. Sallee may exhibit symptoms of PTSD, he is a Veteran with a Vision and deserves help with his vision.
-That is why I posted that which I posted.
(Come on people, the man doesn't bite.)

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr March 4, 2009 | 2:53 p.m.

>>> 1. During an open meeting with more than 20 witnesses, a P&Z member conveyed her personal disdain for Mr. Sallee and conveyed that she would personally see to it that Mr. Sallee would never get approval for his Veteran Sanctuary due to his "volitile" nature, regardless of legal compliance. <<<

I was also a witness to this above mentioned person saying these comments that ray has presented.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz March 4, 2009 | 3:27 p.m.

Ray, the exact address for the property isn't listed, but is approximately two miles from Route B and I would estimate at least four miles from Hallsville proper. I think Mount Zion Road has been paved in recent years (was a gravel road when I had friends living on it ages ago), and assume Hecht is still gravel. The piece of property is somewhat removed from any services or establishments that the veterans would need to visit. Take a look at the link below (found in the original Missourian story on this) to see about where the property is located:

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/media/...

Also from that original story, in which he mentions he doesn't have the money to buy the trailers and might take non-veteran renters (i.e. open a trailer park for anyone). That might be why some of the neighbors are a bit less than enthusiastic about his proposal:

But buying seven new three-bedroom mobile homes isn't cheap, and Sallee is broke. So he's trying to come up with a plan for how to finance the venture.

As it stands, Sallee said he would make the down payments on the trailers himself and then charge rent equal to about 50 percent of the government benefit checks that the veterans who live in his sanctuary receive. He would have the veterans deposit the entirety of their checks into a bank account he controls, take the rent out of that account, then make the remainder of the checks available to the veterans in "branch" accounts. Sallee said he's working on arrangements with Martinsburg Bank and Trust. He said that method, and the fact that he would be keeping an eye on the residents, would help prevent veterans living in his mobile homes from spending their money on alcohol or drugs.

Sallee said he's also open to having "pre-screened" citizens who aren't veterans living with them in the park. The goal is to have the trailers paid off in five years, which is the loan repayment period he has discussed with mobile home dealerships.

(Report Comment)
John Schloot March 4, 2009 | 5:01 p.m.

Ray and Charles,
May I ask what date this open meeting took place when a female member of P & Z said she would never let this happen? Thanks

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro March 4, 2009 | 5:53 p.m.

John Schloot:
First off, I don't know who you are, and this is the first time I have ever seen you post. However, the person in question knows who she is. I would be willing to meet with Sallee's attorney at the Missourian offices, with Jake Sherlock in attendance and my attorney as well. How many witnesses would you like for me to secure for this meeting at the Missourian? I think Chuck and I should be able to easily muster up a total of 5, easily. You can have Jake contact me and Chuck for this meeting or we can let the individual work on this bias on her own. Personally, I don't care either way.
I just agree with the vision of a Veteran Sanctuary outside of the city limits and Mr. Elkin and Mr. Sallee can work out the details.
I would like to see the guy get all the help he needs and hope he would be flexible enough to work with the agencies and people who know how to work out the details. Obviously, if Mr. Sallee is as rigid and unyielding as some of the "normal" people he is encountering, then his vision will never come to fruition.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr March 4, 2009 | 7:16 p.m.

I want to say I am with ray shapiro 100% on this issue of not publicly posting this commissioners name in question because as ray stated she knows who she is,she reads this paper I am sure and it would embarrass her probably more than she feels right now plus cause even more hurt to the entire Boone County Board P&Z of Commissioners as a whole if her name was openly published.

I was shocked when I heard what she said and how forceful she said it in that she and her other Obama friends on the Commission who had been voting this down from the beginning would continue to vote this down no matter how legal it all was on paper.

That is just totally wrong,biased,prejudiced and morally uncalled for out of any sitting official in any form of government.

In fact she told ray shapiro and myself we did not know what we were talking about,said Mr Sallee scared her and others,Mr Sallee was going to run a nursing home,Mr Sallee was not qualified in any way in how to deal with other vets,that the sanctuary would cause more crime in that area and I lost track of all of the other trash talking this woman did at that public meeting she spoke this at.

You know what people like her in places of local government scare the piss out of me and put me in fear for all other citizens who have to or might come under her thumb!

I'm with ray that I will be more than happy to meet with Mr Sallee's attorney and Jake Sherlock of the Missourian and ray and I can contact a few other people who heard this woman commissioner speak out and then decide what Mr Sallee's attorney would like to do after he hears the entire story.

I would be more than happy to speak before a Grand Jury to put people like this uncouth woman and others just like her who makes uncouth decisions based on their emotions and not on the actual facts out of their office permanently!

What do ya wanna bet Boone County P&Z would be looking to expel one woman commissioner for making them look real bad in the public eye after Mr Sallee's attorney took her name public and into court.

Now if she came forward and offered a public apology before we had to go that far and do it via every newspaper,every TV media,every local radio show and stepped down honorably then the entire Boone County Board of Commissioners would be spared some disgrace.

This is not black mail in any way at all but it is putting her's and others like her outrageous behaviors and commentaries out into the open for all to see. After all is this the kind of commissioner or commissioners you would want on your commissions?

You decide.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz March 4, 2009 | 8:55 p.m.

Gee Chuck, seeing as there are only two females on P&Z, you've pretty much outed the commisioner 90% of the way. I'm fairly certain P&Z can't expel her, nor would Mr. Sallee's attorney have much to work with in court and he certainly couldn't get a grand jury to hear his arguments (not a criminal matter).

Ray, you may not know who John Schloot is, but do a little research and see if you can determine why you might care.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro March 4, 2009 | 9:46 p.m.

John:
When I participated in the community volunteer coalition's small venture to help the Veterans' Group, Welcome Home Inc. and was expressing my interest in supporting the vision of a Veteran Sanctuary outside of our city limits, it was then that I was publicly lashed for trying to even explore the validity of this project. It was I who tried to convey to the person in question to not publicly debate her opinions on said subject. A moderator had to actually intervene as this person refused to keep things in perspective.
"John Schloot," as well as many other people, know how to contact me.
I would like to resolve any concerns regarding this matter so that the process may properly move forward.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz March 4, 2009 | 10:12 p.m.

Have it your way, I gave you a nugget of information there...

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro March 5, 2009 | 2:14 a.m.

John Schultz:
What can I tell you. We all heard what we all heard. It was upsetting to hear and maybe "not feeling safe around Sallee" clouded the words which were spoken.
(Also, anyone could be posting using John Schloot's name. I do, however understand the importance of the integrity of the decision making process.)
Once again, I'd be happy to meet with him/her at Jake Sherlock's office, as I proposed, or they can handle it internally.
At the meeting, I was only expressing my interest in the concept of a Veteran Sanctuary outside of the city limits for Veterans to "decompress" and maybe some day assimilate into city life. When I mentioned Sallee's name, all I got was a ton of negatives.
Believe me, I know exuberance can sometimes come across the wrong way, however it should be addressed.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr March 5, 2009 | 3:30 a.m.

>>> John Schultz March 4, 2009 | 8:55 p.m. nor would Mr. Sallee's attorney have much to work with in court and he certainly couldn't get a grand jury to hear his arguments (not a criminal matter). <<<

Wrong John it can be taken to a Grand Jury under a form of a pre meditated decision,cohesion,prejudice to not allow mo matter what Mr Sallee came into compliance with his rights to do with his land what he is wanting to do. This is against his civil rights if I am looking at this entire case from as far out side of the box as is plausible.

Now once any government agency or one of it's officers declares these things this lady commissioner did at a public meeting we are looking at just that case and cause above of the blatant pre meditated violation of Mr Sallee's civil and legal rights by this woman and her Obama friends on the Commission she mentioned. Their past voting record will speak for itself.

Do ya think the ACLU would love to get ahold of that case and bring the Boone County P&Z into the mainline national news and then the V.A. lawyers or Veterans Advocacy Groups step in on this too. How embarrassing for P&Z that would be.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 5, 2009 | 4:46 a.m.

John Schultz said:

"As it stands, Sallee said he would make the down payments on the trailers himself and then charge rent equal to about 50 percent of the government benefit checks that the veterans who live in his sanctuary receive. He would have the veterans deposit the entirety of their checks into a bank account he controls, take the rent out of that account, then make the remainder of the checks available to the veterans in "branch" accounts. Sallee said he's working on arrangements with Martinsburg Bank and Trust. He said that method, and the fact that he would be keeping an eye on the residents, would help prevent veterans living in his mobile homes from spending their money on alcohol or drugs."

IOW, Sallee would be a "representative payee" for his renters. If we look up some of the abuses of this system by SSDI payees, proponents of the sanctuary might be less willing to support it, with this type of funding.

VA hospitals have been criticized that their homeless outreach programs have brought crime to areas around their hospitals. This sanctuary may have the same effect.

DK

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 5, 2009 | 4:49 a.m.

"Five showed up to speak in support of Sallee's project, including homeless veteran Scott Byars.

"We're screwing up your city," Byars said to the commission. "We're screwing up your downtown. Give us somewhere to go.""

Mmm. So Sallee's neighbors should allow him to open a trailer park so people like Byars can screw up the area around it? Somehow I don't think it was in the best interest of the project to have this pointed out.

DK

(Report Comment)
John Schultz March 5, 2009 | 9:47 a.m.

Chuck, I'm fairly certain only the county prosecutor can bring cases before a grand jury, but please correct me if I am wrong.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr March 5, 2009 | 10:01 a.m.

John Schultz that is probably so but if you have a case such as this of this commissioner and other commissioners expressing their stance on this issue at a public forum.

To me that is a blatant violation of Mr Sallee's civil rights and after all of the evidence would be presented I would hope to hell the Prosecuting Attorney would be looking to file formal charges or this county is more crooked than we all realize.

If it comes to that point.

(Report Comment)
John Schloot March 5, 2009 | 11:26 a.m.

OK. I will ask one more time...the date of the meeting in which a female P & Z member said these things. No Ray, I don't know how to get hold of you or Chuck as neither of you have telephones listed. I do. And yes, this is the real John Schloot...
Johhhhn@aol.com

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro March 5, 2009 | 4:05 p.m.

John Schloot:
I ask that you contact Jake Sherlock of the Missourian
I would be happy to meet with you in his office to clear this matter up.
I understand the sensitivity of this subject and would like to cooperate. However, I am also asking for an impartial person to be present.
I trust Jake.
-Ray Shapiro

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr March 5, 2009 | 4:13 p.m.

John Schloot I do believe ray shapiro and myself made it perfectly clear if you want the info you meet ray's terms and conditions and you will get your info.

That is all I can say on the matter with out breaking any more of people's confidentiality.

That is just the way it is going to be.

I know what I heard and it was the same thing ray shapiro and 20 others in that room heard too.

It was a Boone County P&Z Commissioner blatantly stating point blank that no matter what conditions Mr Sallee met and no matter how legal it was all addressed that she(the Commissioner) and her other Obama supporting friends on the Boone County P&Z Commission would never pass Mr Sallee's vision of opening a Sanctuary on his own land nor anywhere else for that matter.

She said this rather forcefully,with as much confidence that her words were set into stone and not even God would move her was the forcefulness and tone of voice it was presented in.

Also this Commissioner told ray shapiro he did not know what he was getting involved into.

This Commissioner was so out of line that the meeting facilitator had to step in as she was verbally attacking ray shapiro as he was trying to work with her and to get more information but she kept shutting him off and kept blatantly speaking

That Commissioner by her presentation made at a public meeting is in blatant violations of ethics and moral guidelines I am sure every County Commissioner is supposed to follow as a public appointed servant.

That Commissioner has not been at one of the meetings since her blatant out burst. I for one do not miss her one dam bit. People like her only care about themselves and what is in it for them.

In reality I am sure Skip knows who ray and I are talking about here and I would hope Skip can get this handled internally so this never happens in the future of some "wild card loose cannon" of a Commissioner going around in public playing God tactics with peoples dreams,visions and hopes of helping others.

(Report Comment)
John Schloot March 5, 2009 | 4:23 p.m.

Gentlemen, there is nothing to "clean up" in this matter. I simply don't believe it was said in the context you are putting it in. I'm not wasting my time driving to town to argue with you. May I point out too that volunteer County P & Z members do not give up their constitutional rights to free speech while serving. You guys are fishing in a pond with no fish...and you still won't give me the date or location of this meeting so I can check the public records.
Bye.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro March 5, 2009 | 5:04 p.m.

Mr. Schloot:
I'm not fishing for anything. Just responding to an article printed by the Missourian.
I'm certain that you will do your best to give Mr. Sallee a chance to prove himself.
Sorry for any inconvenience.
Regards,
-Ray Shapiro

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand March 5, 2009 | 6:01 p.m.

Is this like the claim that Watkins said something at a meeting, yet the person making that claim never could back it up? In fact, as I recall, John Schultz watched a bunch of archived meetings and never could find the supposed statement.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr March 6, 2009 | 12:51 p.m.

The commissioner in question did not make these comments at any P&Z meeting but they were made at a Community Coalition for Change meting that was held at the public library in the Friends room that was attended by more than 20 people who were part of the local Obama campaign. This was in January.

(Report Comment)
John Schloot March 6, 2009 | 1:21 p.m.

This clears up the confusion of the when and where the meeting took place as I never heard her say any of these things at a P & Z meeting. At this "Obama meeting", did this P & Z commissioner identify herself as a P & Z commissioner to the group or say she was there representing the P & Z commission? I doubt it. Thank You for finally telling us all the simple details I requested.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr March 6, 2009 | 3:57 p.m.

>>> At this "Obama meeting", did this P & Z commissioner identify herself as a P & Z commissioner to the group <<<

Yes she did in no uncertain terms either as she was very aloof when she made it perfectly clear that her and her Obama supporting friends on the P&Z Commission would never approve Mr Sallee's requests no matter how legal and binding and in line or to all conformity they ever became.

I know what I heard and so did the other 20 odd people in that same room.

(Report Comment)

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