Archive: January, 2007

Everyone sounds the same

I have noticed that all of the politicians in this city sound the same. Everyone wants to bring jobs to the city and call me negative and say there are no cliques in the area.

I beg to differ. I am not negative, I just want to be honest and real with the public. If I’m negative because I say that there are no jobs worth having in this city, so be it. There aren’t any. You can only beat a dog so many times before he bites you. That’s what I view my opinion as in this case. The people “in charge” of leading this city down a prosperous road have failed so many times it’s like they are just beating down us average people.

I believe the residents have had enough and are finally ready for a change in leadership. I know that I am. Even if I don’t get elected, perhaps whomever does will actually do something positive.

There has to be change to the way things are running right now. It obviously is not working. We are at the hub of two major interstates, have easy rail access, water is bountiful from Rend Lake, and the airport is competent. Why have we not grown exponentially?

So yeah, we all want to bring businesses to town, but will anyone do it or just keep things how they are?

The slowness

It has actually been a slow week for me so far. No meetings on Monday, Tuesday was laid back, and I only have a Jaycee meeting tonight. It has seemed as though I have been running like a madman for the past two months, at least.

Well, with the primary coming up, studying to do, Jaycee Week 10 days away, and Em’s birthday soon, I’m sure it will pick up. Sure is nice to relax for a day or two though.

Believe it or not, I made a mistake

Yes, those of you who know me may not believe it, but I did make a mistake. It seems when I was writing my new landing-page for my domain about the city council race, I mistakenly referred to the elite as rich. The two are not interchangeable, but they are often the same around here.

In my opinion, there are people who are in the higher tiers of income that deserve to be there. People like doctors, people who have worked and made their own businesses, people who have gone to college and attained good jobs. These people have worked for what they have in one way or another and have attained a level of success.

Now, in my opinion, there are also the “elite” of the area. These are people who have done little to nothing to succeed, and only have done so by the will of those in power. An example would be the city council approving the city manager to lease a property at below market value, AND giving him over 1/2 of the money paid during the lease once the lease term is up. While such blatant favoritism and nepotism is not always obvious as in that case, it does seem to happen quite often. That is what I refer to when I say elite.

It’s about time, “other” Dan

Dan Plumb is a local firefighter and resident who is running for city council as well. I’ve met him and he seems to be a great guy who is also concerned about this city just as I am.

Dan finally got a site up, and it’s located HERE. On his site, he has an introduction, an explanation of why you should vote for him, contact info, and how to register to vote. I have to say his site is superior to mine. It just seems more complete than mine.

Good job Dan, and bood luck!

(In case you can’t tell, the title was in teasing of Dan.)

Some thoughts

I took a personal day at work on Wednesday. No real reason other than to take a day off and relax after the holidays. I had a haircut late in the afternoon, but I could’ve just taken an hour for that, so mostly to relax.

After I got Erich to school and Amaya off to pre-K, I drove around looking at the city a little. I tried to remain objective and look at the parts of the city to see how things looked. Frankly, I was saddened.

While I will admit that there have been improvements to streets and some sidewalks, I did see a few issues. The southeast area of town is severely lacking in well-maintained roads and sidewalks. This may sound petty, but why are the streets in the north and northwest parts of town maintained so much better? Perhaps it is because these streets are less traveled? If that is the case, why doesn’t the city invest more money to maintain those roads at a higher level?

Another item that I found odd was the new landscaping rock and signs posted near the interstate in front of Hardee’s and again at the railroad tracks in front of Ford Square. Did we not have some other way to use funds than to buy and mount the sign, buy the rock, and pay to have it all assembled? I am sure that there could have been better uses of the money. Perhaps grading Optimist Park so that it does not flood all the time, or better yet adding some equipment to it? How about expanding the skate park? I don’t skate, but it is still semi-popular, involves physical activity and balance, and promotes exercise. Perhaps we could add a few bike ramps?

Maybe if there was more to do in the city, our children wouldn’t be so inclined to sit inside and watch television or play video games. I do realize that there are activities for kids, from school to the YMCA. However, what if the child wants to attempt BMX tricks? How about roller-blading?

The population of Mount Vernon is currently tilted to the over forty ages (according to census statistics). How long before their children go to college, graduate, and find jobs elsewhere because there is nothing here? Unless we plan to become a retirement city, there needs to be development of jobs above the minimum-wage level. How can we maintain an income base with only retired persons in a community? I’m not saying it cannot be done, but I don’t see anyone planning how to do it.

EDIT: The rock and signs I referred to here were provided by a grant the governor’s wife started. It is still stupid in my opinion that we can get monies for rocks and signs but not other improvements.