To the editor:

Since the denial of a zoning decision related to the Laughing Buddha, my family and friends are being demonized for exercising their right to share legitimate concerns. I am an adjacent landowner who would have been impacted by the increased traffic and have grandchildren that use our lot as their sanctuary.

While the proponents of Laughing Buddha choose arguments on the basis of narrow-minded neighbors not wanting grandmas and public service workers spending time meditating, those whom I have talked to have no problem with that. As someone who has spent my career in healthcare and serving others, I like alternative therapies as an option for those to find their peace. I have also spent the last several years working in hospice and lead a national initiative focusing on helping veterans to find their peace during their last chapter of life. Personally, I am happy there are services being offered to the people that Laughing Buddha is looking to serve.

I want to make a point about what was listed in the business plan versus what was said during, what some considered a heated, public meeting. When you have the author of that business plan walking back on what has already been written and submitted for all to see, just to gain favor when an impending vote is about to be taken, makes me lose trust and wonder what is her truth.

The neighbors were honest in sharing their thoughts, fears and concerns. They are not monsters, and I have found them all to be open and welcoming when I became a property owner a few years ago. We communicated with our neighbors on our intentions of how we wanted to use our property and we made it exactly the way we said, without misrepresentation.

To gain further consideration, be honest with me.

Gary W. Walker

Garfield, MN