Let’s suss out some of last week’s significant news, or at least put the nail in the Comprehensive Plan (CP) coffin.
Yeah, that project ‘has passed on’, ‘it has ceased to be’, ‘it is bereft of life’ and is ‘pining for the fjords’ only in a very few local minds. One senior official, who wishes to remain anonymous, predicted months ago that the CP would “end with a thud,” We can only hope it will have the energy to make that sound.
As a Steering Committee (SC) member I was disappointed/relieved to be out of town for our second meeting and the newspaper reports that members tossed around lots of ideas and brainstorming happened. Again.
I also read that the next and final step prior to writing the draft report will have Images Inc. conducting “word on the street’ type interviews which will provide lots of fun ideas. Again.
Mateys, it’s too late in the game to be soliciting fun ideas, as the point of the CP is to eventually arrive at informed, viable options and guidelines, or as Images states, an “achievable” plan. It’s the informed and viability of pressing issues that hasn’t happened.
At the first meeting, after all the Post-it ideas were on the wall, the question was asked within my group: how will these problems be prioritized and how will possible solutions to these challenges be researched? Fellow committee member Bob Cox, an urban planner himself, assumed and offered up that Images would do that work – which seemed both logical (as surely someone would have to do it) and a stretch (as the enormity of the task was already evident: too many renters, too much crime, sub-standard housing, etc.) for our group.
But Images is still putting together a Wish List! instead of a Plan, and no real work has been done. Therefore, the new CP will be crafted by the same old people and their 20 year old ideas, which will guide our policies, unsuccessfully, for the next 20 years. Bet on it.
We The Taxpayers might be noticeably more furious over this costly dog-and-pony show if each of us had to drop off our share of the $100K at village hall by April 15.
In other news, one year after the referendum bar owners still want video gambling in Forest Park but it appears the residents still do not.
Bar owners are whining about low voter turnout for the two-to-one against it referendum and want a re-do. (If that is the standard, most FP elections will have to be nullified.) Hoskins is against it, Hosty, alleged bar owner, is all over the place and apparently forcibly recused, and both Mannix and Harris flirt with overruling voters’ wishes if they have the opportunity for a council vote. But they won’t get that opportunity as the mayor conducted his private residents’ snail mail survey last year and it appears the ‘good people’ were “hell, no” clear. This issue will not make the agenda before our 2015 election.
One year from now you and I will have elected a new village council. Lordy, can we get some fresh air, some new blood pumping into our ragged council? The present council has apparently forgotten they serve a constituency, they have gone mute, and their vision is as stale as Turano’s bread crumbs.
Finally, and this was thrilling to read: the Feds, via the state, via the village government have insisted we revel in our freedom and so have invited gunslingers into most of our public places. I hope the toters are all “good people” but just in case I’ll be hanging out at the library instead of the bars.
Hey, don’t shoot the messenger.