The proposal for the alteration of the East Rome Historic District, removing 305, 309, 311 and 315 E. Seventh St., should have the preface:

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”

— Marcus Aurelius

I was born in Rome, Georgia, in 1973. Since that time, I have seen the city remove buildings and spaces for growth. Change is not a bad thing, but the absence of memory creates a new narrative. These buildings contribute to the Rome of the past and serve to represent that past to the future for all who will call Rome their home. They create a unique place in the evolution of the 20th century to politics and race in Rome — and illustrate that tradition still serves as a pillar to society. Homes represent culture and the inhabitants of these homes, past and present, have evolved with their opinions. Now we see ourselves in these homes. Do we singularly promote the idea of individual freedom, or do we focus on liberty for all? Allowing these structures to opt out is not an example of “one’s” right — it is the establishment of a precedent of power to overwhelm the people. The owners of the homes were aware they belonged to the historic district and now wish to exercise a new norm. I hope that the stewards of Rome, Georgia, (The City Commission) will remember that they stand on greater shoulders than they do and years from now, they will be the shoulders that future leaders will stand on.

I close with:

“Few people have the virtue to withstand the highest bidder.”

— George Washington

David Yoakley Mitchell

President, M.H. Mitchell Inc., Rome

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