What part of "no" don't you understand? Today's news (March 22) of the Marietta City Council meeting, deciding to go forward with final designs for the intersection project at Pike, Greene and Seventh streets, goes to show that Council simply won't listen to the people of Marietta and Washington County. They won't listen to us when the citizens speak blatantly saying "no" to spending money on projects that are unneeded and only exist at the behest of state grant money that Council feels they "need" to spend after already blowing over 300 grand of the peoples' tax dollars on preliminary designs; Which in kind has lead to the very outrage which has been directed towards the Council by citizens who are telling their local representatives in government, No! Again, what part of no don't you understand? This issue is like talking to Sen. Dianne Feinstein over the 2nd Amendment and getting her to answer honestly, the question: What part of "Shall not be infringed" don't you understand? She can't, because she hasn't actually read the Constitution, doesn't have the brain capacity to know what the concept of liberty is (it doesn't guarantee safety!), and is a stubborn socialist hellbent on pandering to the United Nations Small Arms Treaty. Yet, I digress.
The real, manly thing to do is fess up and say you screwed up ... (This is what I'd like to hear:) "... and it seems as if we can't come to a real conclusion on updating the intersection without sacrificing its current abilities, no matter whether we may be able to use the extra grant money and have already expended funds on designs which we find do not meet the needs and concerns of the citizens." Yet, I don't think that they'd do this because, for one, Council probably already had their minds made up on doing the project years in advance. Now because of the states' dangling money in front of them with the excuse of saying "they're cutting it close to the deadline for accepting the grant money," they put on a dog and pony show knowing full and well they will move forward on the project no matter what pandering or concerns arise from their constituents. Oh, and don't forget the Delphi Technique at their meetings! I suspect the aforementioned because they have already spent a big chunk 'o change on services that don't come cheap, except at the expense of the taxpayer.
On the other hand, even if genuine concern were even being heard by Council, it seems as if the majority of them will not accept or cannot understand the backlash of their actions. This must be due to their collectively thick skull which blocks out all reason on understanding the underlying fact that everyone brings up: Why do we really need the so-called "upgrade" in the first place? As for being an ideal little town that would seemingly be an astute model for the federal government to look towards for resolving its woes facing the nation, and local government claiming that the house must be in order and run like a financially tight ship, it seems that this is not the case. Even spending $3.26 million in grant money that originated at the expense of the taxpayer in which the thing being "updated" doesn't really need fixed in the first place, is equally an arbitrary double-standard in which no matter the financial burden imposed, would seem as unwise and unfit of government as spending $16 trillion in debt that the country doesn't have, never had, and never will have. Have you ever heard the argument of "bridges to nowhere?"
As for all the arguments surrounding the project, it would seem a minor footnote to say that the main reason many feel that the project is so important to stop it in its tracks, is because the so-called "upgrades" to the intersection in question do not meet the demands and concerns of commuters, those who live in those neighborhoods or on those streets, and the chilling effect on businesses of the area and the new traffic congestion that will unavoidably occur on Pike Street due to the traffic changes. Oh yes, I know what I'm talking about because I got phone calls from concerned citizens from the last article I wrote scathing the intersection idea. Yet, I don't think Council is hearing any of this. I imagine dollar signs rolling around their eye sockets while the 'O'Jays' song "For The Love Of The Money" is playing in the background. "Money, money, money, mon-ey!"
I'm not sure what else to say but "no," and I wish more people would say it: No! While you may vote to go forward with the project and spend money on so-called improvements that won't help anybody except for the temporary influx of work related job growth and of course the ego of those who think they have some sort of special power, all I have to say is that, if (and this is a big "if") they come to reason one day and are driving through that intersection, griping about traffic congestion or the inconvenience of no more left-hand turns, they have to consciously swallow the great big goose egg they laid in the most historic and oldest town in the Northwest Territory.
There's not much else to say or do. Remember: Sometimes the best action is inaction. Government was founded on this principle. That's why we (use to) have balancing powers between three branches of government. It's not much different on the local level except for some of the structure. Just remember, Council, that your power is only derived at the bequest of the people themselves, not the other way around.
Sam Ludtman lives in Reno.