Though you’d think a priority list of issues confronting our city officials would result in some quick action at city hall. Au contraire. Seems that from the latest study, the airport tops the priority list while Byers Avenue still languishes as possibly the worst street in the entire county, despite those claims that streets are the No. 1 priority.

Increased housing and other amenities aimed at supporting the projected increase in high paying jobs announced with such great fanfare earlier this year appear at a standstill. A recent drive by those projects revealed that there is essentially no activity on the airport hotel or the housing project across from the EOCI, and despite claims by city hall on the KUMA Coffee Hour that construction of the street in preparation for the expansion of the Pendleton Heights apartment complex was now underway, a visit to the site confirmed that it’s just not happening.

City hall’s record on large projects like the “road to nowhere” and the Eighth Street Bridge replacement, a proverbial “bridge to nowhere,” has been nothing to write home about. When it comes to economic development, it seems the only bright spot is the turnaround in airport operations lead by the successful drone program, primarily because of a talented airport manager and staff.

Performance by city hall on key issues has been less than stellar. The term “kicking the can down the road,” frequently used in the past, has been replaced by “we’ll table that for now.” This caused delay after delay in repealing the unworkable River Quarter plan. The rewrite of the ordinance that would add parade fees to aid the police department’s efforts to recover increasing costs to provide coverage was tabled.

Now, after ignoring the steady increase in homeless issues, acting as this phenomenon is something that’s sprung up overnight, the city council has again “tabled” a revision of the ordinance giving the police department guidance on their responsibilities to address this issue with the only explanation being, “it’s a complex issue.”

A glance at the progress solving the issues of our deteriorating streets, even as a top priority, gives us little comfort for any immediate action on the homeless issue. Even our police department apparently has little faith in a remedy for the condition of the streets, as they’ve converted their entire fleet to four-wheel drive vehicles.

Rick Rohde


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