Candidate Gysberts attended a meeting led by those in opposition to the downtown site. Those hosting the meeting said that the then-current mayor and council had refused to meet with them (although they had not been invited to this particular meeting). Candidate Gysberts skillfully appeared to be in agreement with this group without ever making a definitive statement about it. At least that is what he said after the election when those at the meeting were stunned to find out that he indeed was for the downtown site. Of course there were no audio or video recordings of the meeting. I was there and I can not without a doubt remember if he made a statement against it, but I do remember without a doubt that he did not make a statement for it. I do remember that the implication was that he was against it. It was implied by his very presence, by there not being any definite statement for it, by his commiseration about the incumbents and their lack of consideration for the citizens that were against it, and for his statements against the process. I have to give it to him. It was skillfully played.
I got over that disappointment pretty quickly because I still considered him to be a thoughtful man who would care about the will of the voters. Even the most liberal of the city council, Council Member Metzner, said that "the voters have spoken and they do not want a stadium at the downtown site." I hate to even have to mention that Council Member Munson, who has since reneged on his promise to oppose the site, claimed to have personally talked to thousands and that no more than 45 people were for that stadium site. So there was no question that the citizens of this town did not and do not want it. Certainly a thoughtful young man like Mayor Gysberts would represent the voters. Not so. Instead, he came out strongly for the site and promised to vote for it if there should be a tied vote. He was quoted many times in the newspaper in support of it, and even wrote a letter to the governor asking for taxpayer funds. Disappointing.
Disappointing went to incredulous upon reading that not only would this mayor continue to consider other athletic facilities for that site, but he went so far as to say that he would also consider using eminent domain! In short, eminent domain is the right of a government to take private property for public use, against the will of the property owner, with payment of compensation. He is willing to steal private property away from an individual or business to build a ridiculous baseball field at a site that the voters overwhelmingly do not want. This seemingly non-partisan candidate just revealed himself to be a Progressive Liberal politician.
He made this statement about eminent domain just as a the Zoning Appeals Board voted unanimously to allow a private investor to expand and improve a property that would have been needed for the stadium or a similar project. The stadium project was unable to get the private investment needed to proceed. So the mayor of this town, in essence, threatens to take the property of a successful business for a venture that no respectable investor would touch? In the newspaper? How many would-be small business owners would locate in a town where the mayor publicly makes such a statement?