Friday, June 16, 2006

The Sound of Silence

Is it just me, or have the Laurel City Council members and challengers been quiet about a Main Street manager?

Remember all the hewing and crying during the recent election season? Lots of foot stomping about how good or bad Main Street was doing.

But nary a word since the election. Where are the legislative fixes ? Where is the manager's salary in the recently passed FY07 budget? Where are the council challengers, who promised to stay involved?

Alas, I remember the same deafening silence following the last election.

If it comes up during the next election, I'm going to cry foul. There is simply no Main Street problem, except during an election season. And that is a problem that can be best fixed by simply ignoring it.


Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly it was the challengers' issue not the incumbants.

Mike Sarich said...

It was almost everyone's issue. Every incumbant except Mike Lesczc indicated a willingness to bring a Main St. Manager to Laurel. If you don't believe me, check the tape of the candidates forum.

If you want to know why we do not have a MSM in Laurel, it's not because the challengers failed to follow up it's because the incumbants (me included) have not been able to persaude a reluctant Admninistration that the Community is behind this. Believe me though, this is not for lack of trying on my part or the excellent polls you produced on the subject.

The reason this comes up at election time is simple. When else would you talk about ideas that are languishing due to lack of interest/energy with the current leadership? Besides, when is there a bad time to offer suggestions for improving our town?

It really dissapoints me when people criticize others for bringing ideas to the forefront of discussion again and again.

I fought for 2 years to get the DROP plan fixed our PD, should I have not brought it up ever again or should I have continued to fight for it? Under this logic, Lincoln would have given up after Douglas won his Senate seat in 1858.

In my view, if you believe in something, you should keep fighting for it, regardless of the time of year. That's what Lincoln did, that's what alot of us do.

Rick Wilson said...

Mike: I appreciate your comments.

But while I was looking through this blog's archive this morning, I remembered the whole Main Street manager brouhaha. It was the same as in the 2004 election. Lots of words but no action. You know as well as I do that the only power a Council person has is to introduce and vote on legislation.

Has any Main Street ordinance been introduced in the last 6 years?

My personal opinion remains the same. I do not support using city funds for a Main Street Manager. If the Main Street merchants do not want to fund it themselves, then they obviously don't want it or need it.

Mike Sarich said...


As always, I highly value and respect your opinion. It invariably comes from sound empirical data and a keen sense of the needs of our neighbors.

As a former Council President, you know that an item has to have consensus to come up on the agenda for vote. As you once told me when I wanted our Council to take a position on the "Slots for Tots" debate, without three Councilmen, nothing happens. A single Councilperson can do almost nothing, especially if there is a reluctant Administration or Council President.

It's easy to say that if the election had gone differently we would have been able to put more pressure on the Administration to take action on the MSM program; however the value of this blog is in reminding us that 4/5th of the current Council voiced support for the program. In that regard, we all should have worked harder for enactment. Therefore, your criticism is fair, just, and appropriate.

I respect your position on Main Street; however, the FOHLMS and many members of the Board of Trade (at least privately) were and are for a MSM. You correctly point out that an Ordinance is in order.


Rick Wilson said...

Mike: I think this is one of those rare issues where we must disagree. Maybe we can agree to disagree.

I don't think you can fairly blame the administration or the Council President. I believe that they are handling this issue exactly correctly--by ignoring it.

The Main Street Manager idea is a solution looking for a problem.

Where are the Main St merchants demanding relief? There have been at least 6 general public hearings at City Hall since the election. I have not heard of any Main St organization or current landowner bothering to appear and testify in favor of a MSM.

That is exactly my point in bringing it up on the blog now. The MSM issue is like a biennial monsoon. It only blows during elections. Maybe its time as an election issue has come and gone?

Jim McCeney said...

The Main Street merchants need to given the facts as to how a MSM will be advantageous to them, and how the program has been successful elsewhere. There are plenty of examples.

Anonymous said...

Once again, it's all about Mr. Sarich. Blah, blah, blah. We haven't see any members of his ticket do anything for the city since the election. These were the ones that were going to keep active. And what has Mr. Sarich done except blah, blah, blah?