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.