Monday, December 14, 2009

Letter to the Editor

The Carbondale Times has an editorial in the Dec. 9th issue (still available at finer free newspaper racks around town but not online) arguing that those citizens who organized against Mayor Cole's water privatization proposal overreacted against a proposal that "never had any legs". I disagreed and just sent this letter to the Times:

I read the editorial in the Dec. 9 issue of the Carbondale Times with interest, especially the statement that the plan to privatize the city's water "never had any legs" because Mayor Cole was "only one vote in an elected body of seven people". After Mayor Cole presented his set of proposals, and prior to the community meetings about privatization,at least two city council memebers had stated they were neutral on the privatization option. It was only after members of the community showed strong opposition that all six council members came out opposing it.

Mayor Cole has an enviable track record of both getting the city council to approve his proposals or implementing them as part of his office. Offhand, I can think of:

ending the closure of city offices during the lunch hour
enacting property tax abatement
closing the city supported child care program
putting into place a moratorium on new apartment construction
passing the Saluki Way tax
implementing the summer youth work program
purchasing and demolishing the American Tap
passing the rental inspection fee and program
eliminating the building and neighborhood services manager position

with at least three of those (Saluki Way, child care and neighborhood services manager) enacted over significant opposition from various segments of the community. Given Mayor Cole's success in implementing his proposals in the past and the amount of detail the mayor put into supporting this proposal, I think it is fair to say that those citizens opporsed to privatization had enough cause for concern to justify their organization against the proposal.

1 comment:

  1. I certainly agree that Brad gets things done and when he is gone, the ideas are going to stop. Isn't a better explanation that people in Carbondale just don't have enough to do with themselves? Imagine if the Carbondale activists got real jobs? :)

    I'm still working on the comment that was made eariler that Carbondale has twice as many city employees as other university towns in Carbondale. Do you think that is true, comparing apples to apples? Kind of interesting. If I was in town, I would be figuring that one out.