1/16/08

Where have all the heroes gone?

Harris for Mayor, again.

Ballin, Cranwell, Fitzy, Lea, Price, Rosen, and Wyatt for Council. All Dems.

And Lockard in the Ross Perot position.

Not one outstanding person among the lot of them. Not one worthy of public attention. Although interestingly, Rosen and Ballin are both young'ins - which is interesting.

So far, those are the two I really want to hear from, as they "represent" the younger citizens of Roanoke far better than the geriatric council does now.

Will they make it? Nope. Let's be honest about it. They do not have the name recognition (and by that I mean the well-known name because daddy did something good - like Fitz or Cranwell), nor do they have the experience (in the 'One Manager to rule them all' world anyway). Of course, we do not know their views on certain things. The same could be said for all the candidates.

Some questions for them:

What is to become of the old Victory Stadium site? Will it be an Ampitheater, soccer fields, or perhaps a good location for the new 'mega-library'? Because, right about now - ain't much o nothing going on there, and it's looking pretty sad. Plus- the location of the new hotel on Reserve, speaking of ugly, is there nothing the city can do to prevent it from looking like it does? I understand there are delays and such, but does it need to be an eyesore? Is there no slipcover we can put over it?

And about that ampitheater? Downtown, or not? Or can we put something similar (and cost-effective) downtown that has multiple purposes?

Is Rockledge even an issue? Or is it one of those fear-mongering things tat will be a great tool that the City actually has very little say over. Regardless of whatever may happen, the courts still have the last word on this one, due to the covenants on the mountain. And no Lugar or Burcham interpretation matters a hill of beans in the face of a legal decision.

The Market Building, and downtown in general should be the forefront of this election - as this is our main attractor/collector for new arrivals and new businesses. Too many vacant buildings still - too little sensible planning, and that exploded bathysphere of a zero-to-bankrupt Art Museum. Theres more loans being floated there then in all the banks during the Flood of '85.

This is by no means going to be an easy election - our choices suck so far. And with the importance of the Downtown issues, and the education of our children always in the balance - we need the heroes of tomorrow today.

We need the ones who can walk in and change the world - who do not get bogged down in endless debate and study, and most of all - we need someone as Mayor who can effectively handle the job, and be a leader - not a preacher.

But so far - Harris is our only choice, and I'm not sure whats more depressing. That, or the fact the pack so far is nothing but Democrats.

8 comments:

Museice said...

The first word that comes to mind is regurgitate.
When heard Lynda Wyatt was throwing her bonnet into the race that was my first reaction. Not because of some involuntary body spasm but because if we elected the same people we can be guaranteed the same Roanoke.
Isn't part of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

MsElenaeous said...

Muse said it perfectly, "Isn't part of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?"

Anonymous said...

Last sentence, last paragraph should read" That, or the fact the pack so far is nothing.

What drives all city activities is money. Roanoke's dirty secret is that without increasing the debt limit (now set at 5% of assessed property values) the city has no ability to sell bonds (debt) until 2010 and then it will only be a piddling 5 million dollars. Consequently, city activities will be driven by the amount of tax revenue collected annually for the next several years and there won't be any year end funds to build Mr. Trinkle's amphitheater or anything else.

None of the candidates (or sitting council members) understands finance beyond the proceeds in the collection place or the size of their mortgage. The budget and the budget process is a mystery and they are clueless about what is going on!!!

Farmers Market Building - for example. It lost $125,000 last year and that because of incompetent management - or by design. If all the vendor spaces had been rented it would have been profitable. The Civic Center lost over $900,000 and when bond amortization is added in it was over $2 million!!!

Are government operations efficient? I think not, but one never hears a word about contracting out

If one thinks Bev Fitzpatrick may have a few conflicts of interest problems, Nelson Harris doesn't appear all that pristine but this is Roanoke and business has always been done that way so why get upset.

Bye the way does anyone know how many downtown vibrants it takes to generate a dollar of tax revenue for the city?

Have we ever determined how much Team Spirit it takes to increase Standards of Learning by one point?

T'would be nice to see a candidate with experience instead of incompetents running for class office.

But what do I know? I'm just the guy who fell off the turnip truck when it passed through town.

Smoke said...

While agreeing in large part, there is need of accuracy when slamming the current council and city administration. Check me out but I think the statutory max on debt is set by the state and it is 10% of assessed property values. Roanoke city has a "policy limit" of 5% and can very easily increase it IF they elect to do so. Why not? Besides raising eyebrows with rating agencies and a few local citizens who would hollar, no one else would notice. I am not suggesting it would be a wise decision, just that they COULD do it if they want to.

Dragon said...

Smoke is correct. The max debt limit set by the Commonwealth is 10%

Any increase would fall on the same shrinking base of property owners now paying.

Does Smoke own property? I do and I sure as heck notice when I am paying more in taxes. I notice every year at this time when my new assessment arrives.

Smoke said...

Hi Col B. Not anymore!!

The Status Quo needs to Go said...

Someone needs to add the schools to the agenda, and more money for public safety - particularly firefighters. The RFD currently has trucks out of service at alarming rates due to various reasons. And operating Fire Engines with three personnel doesn't even meet with NFPA recommendations. All in all I'd say the City lacks a lot in terms of infrastructure. Have you look at the condition of our roads lately?

Anonymous said...

A couple of thoughts here. The fools running the institution have become so enarmoured with flash and dash they have forgotten the basics that make the city run well. It is called infastructure which includes maintenance of equipent (even vehicles and fire engines) and scheduled replacement of equipment (even vehicles and fire engines). But golly gosh folks Mr. Trinkle has just gotta have an amphitheater. But Nelson spent the money for an amphitheater for football stadiums. Fear not the City is holding $3 million for Mr. Trinkle's amphitheater becasue it obviously is the number 1 priorty of the City.

As for the school system has it occurred to anyone that Nelson Harris is the most responsible official still holding public office for the school system mess? He has been on the school board or the council for the past 16 years - was he oblivious? And for that we (taxpayers) have paid him over $200,000. What would be even more obscene would having Lynda Wyatt returned to the council, where she sat for ten years, drawing a council salary and a teachers salary - the latter for staying away from the classroom and doing what? Certainly not improving the school system, just the opposite.

I suppose those idiots think the voters are idiots. After all look who we keep electingl.

My apologies for spelling errors.