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Business Loop CID board clarifies district boundaries

Members of the Business Loop Community Improvement District (CID) came under fire Thursday morning after the original single voter in the district, Jen Henderson, accused them of intimidation and gerrymandering.

The board originally intended to discuss a letter from Henderson’s attorneys in response to the CID’s plan to schedule a vote on a half-cent sales tax for the district, which would raise an additional $200,000 a year.

The group discovered that there are 14 total voters in the district and cited it as an error by the county clerk, making Henderson one of a group instead of a lone voter.

The seventh question in the letter caused heated debate that led Henderson to accuse the board of gerrymandering the district and purposely left out potential voters and homeowners.

She requested that the board cover her attorney fees.

Henderson said she felt it was necessary to hire an attorney because she felt harassed by the CID board. She said the board tried to force her out of the district.

The CID board had not fully addressed the issue until Thursday’s meeting.

The board said it did not have those funds but denied gerrymandering the district lines or trying to intimidate Henderson.

“The reason the boundaries look like that is because parcels (of land) were created of different sizes,” Carrie Gartner said. “The absolute reason nobody created a boundary that included homes was because it’s a property tax and what nobody wanted to do was have a business district impose a property assessment on people’s residences.”

Henderson said she needed to get a lawyer because the CID continued to contact her after she told them not to contact her.

Gartner said she apologized and didn’t realize that Henderson’s intent had changed and that she didn’t want to be contacted, citing a misunderstanding.

Henderson’s representative, Richard Rueben, clarified that there are no fees on the table.

District board chairman Tom May said he appreciated Henderson’s input and attendance at meetings to share her opinion.

The CID board voted unanimously to approve the letter from Henderson’s representatives.

The board and residents also spent a majority of the meeting discussing pedestrian safety on Business Loop.

About 10 residents who attended the meeting agreed that improvements are necessary, but many asked the board to find a different way to pay for improvements.

There is no word yet on when the board will discuss the sales tax again.

You can view the full letter from Henderson’s attorneys here.

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