Letters: Wednesday, August 25, 2004
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Take It and Run

To the editor: When I first read about Fred Mitchell, I saw him as a poor mistreated veteran, struggling alone in the world against an uncaring city. Now I canít help but think of him as something of a stubborn, illogical old man who doesnít know when heís won. Yes, he lost his wife. Yes, the city tried to screw him around and use eminent domain to take his property, but thereís the flipside: Mitchell is being offered $120,000 for a piece of land where he can stay until he dies, at which point he probably wonít care (Static, Aug. 18, 2004). Frankly, this sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me, since Iíve always been taught that you generally donít get to make use of things that youíve sold and been paid for.

But hereís where it gets sticky, right? Mitchell says that thereís a stipulation that he cannot sue the city for his wifeís death if he chooses to sell the city his property (complete with the live-there-until-you-die rule). Iím not one to disrespect our nationís veterans (perhaps itís a little late to say that at this point in my letter), as my father served in Vietnam and my grandfather fought on Attu in World War II, but olí Fred needs to realize heís already won and stop ďfighting the good fight.Ē He already proved that the city canít screw with him, he beat back eminent domain, he beat back condemnation, and heís gotten an offer proportionally higher than probably anything the city of Arlington has ever offered anyone. Now he needs to be a good soldier and accept his victory, because if he fights too long, and does die, then Arlington will just find a new way to take the property and keep their $120,000.

Mitchell, donít be stupid: Sign the paper, take your $120K and go somewhere nice, somewhere expensive, and somewhere at an elevation that doesnít have potential flooding issues.

Nathan James Rossberg

Fort Worth

Editorís note: Rest easy, Nathan. On Monday (Aug. 23), Fred Mitchell told the Weekly: ďToday I just threw in the towel. I went to City Hall and signed the damn life estate. Iíll find out if they accept in two weeks. I canít fight it anymore. ... Iíve got to let it go, settle back, and enjoy what little life I got left.Ē Well, he has a little fight left in him: He signed with the stipulation that the city bump up his buyout price to $137,500. ďItís a going rate for a similar house,Ē he said.



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