Members of the Rolla City Council, mayor Jenks and city administrator Butz:
Two months ago, this Council held an open hearing on whether to grant a variance so that a liquor store, Russ and Rena's Place, could move within 100 feet of the New Dimensional Christian Ministry Church. Rolla developer, Jack Deitzmann, who owned the property, asked for the variance, so he could sell the property to the owners of Russ and Rena's. The Pastor of the New Dimensional Church objected to the variance stating that they worked with people with problems of substance abuse and that opening a liquor store across the street would create a terrible environment for those seeking to overcome substance abuse problems.
This Council voted 6 to 1 to grant Russ and Rena's the necessary variance to open a package liquor store. Russ & Rena's opened at the new location and The New Dimensional Church moved to a different location.
Last week Russ and Rena's Place was caught, along with four other businesses, selling alcohol to minors.
This is not the first time that this Council has bent over backwards to the detriment of the City to help Mr. Dietzmann. The City of Rolla's first of several attempts to break State Law by selling Buehler Park was arranged by Mr. Dietzmann. He was to receive $50,000 from the City for "arranging" the illegal sale of Buehler Park for $500,000, a price which was $180,000 less than its appraised commercial value of $680,000. He would have received his fee from the City, if the citizens of Rolla had not banded together and sued to prevent the sale.
Now some of you profess to be Christians. I ask: is that a Christian thing to do? Helping a developer friend make a sale by driving out a church that is helping people overcome substance abuse problems, and replacing the church with a liquor store that sells alcohol to minors?
Some of you profess to be against substance abuse. Again I ask: Is that a proper way to fight substance abuse? Helping a developer friend make a sale by driving out a church that is helping people overcome substance abuse problems, and replacing the church with a liquor store that sells alcohol to minors?
I commend Rolla Police Chief, Mark Kearse, for keeping the businesses in town that sell alcohol under control and within the law. I would hope that this Council will start keeping the developers under control and within the law too.
Thank you for listening to me.