Let’s be upfront

October 8, 2015


At first glance, it seems that we are making some progress by what people are saying, stories written, town hall meetings held, radio talk shows, big plans being suggested and a “blue ribbon committee” being formed that will study the problem and find a solution. But just like some real live “magic act” and after some time the “big idea” somehow just disappeared into thin air or was reduced to something you cannot even imagine.down town river

There is no follow up, no point person taking the lead, no follow through and, in the words of one community resident recently… “A lot of wind, some sounds of thunder… but no rain.” Another resident cited … “it’s the same old same old …nothing going to change… it’s just a different day.” This ugly truth is being played out each year and the story of what residents are saying is quite revealing. Today, most residents are just trying to hold on to what they have – – a roof over their head, food on the table and clothes on their backs. In addition, they would also like a decent retirement, some health care, to live in safety, raise their families, be treated with respect and be at peace with their neighbors. That is not too much to ask, you would think. But it appears that when a resident or group of residents attempts to participate in a particular program or two that would go a long way to improve their neighborhood, there seems to always be a “catch to it,” an “Oh by the way moment.”

That is also followed by a push back, further scrutiny, more guidelines and some other “hoops” to go through in order to “qualify.” And then they’re told that if they are not selected for this program, there are some other programs they might quality for. A lot of people get it; the limits, the process, the past, the scrutiny and even the “hoops” to go through. But what all residents really want to know is to be told upfront about what it will take to participate, without some additional add-ons after application. And you know what, that also is not too much to ask for, either. We all want to have an opportunity to participate in programs and initiatives that will make our communities better, safer and healthier. Our city is facing some huge challenges, but let’s be upfront about them. What do you thing?