Why Have Citizen Task Forces If You Ignore Them?

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Editor:

If you recall some time back, the Mayor's Law Enforcement Task Force made the recommendation that, when Chief Gartner retired, Commander Don Engler replace him. It appeared that most of the community agreed. Their recommendation was disregarded and the Council went ahead and wasted $37,000 of your money and precious Council time to eventually arrive at the same conclusion. The Task Force resigned in protest.

Well, here we go again. After Carol McCauley resigned as Main Street Coordinator, the Green Valley Redevelopment/Main Street Committee (GVRA) unanimously passed a motion encouraging the Town to refill the position ASAP with the few changes made by Community Director Jerry Owen.

At the Special Budget meeting on June 26 of the Town Council, the GVRA Chairman brought the message forward from the committee. He pointed out that we are in the midst of our tourism season and time is of the essence. He also pointed out the successes of the program -- among them $6 million in building projects, $4.5 million in property acquisitions, a net of 19 new businesses and a net increase of 192 jobs. He asked that we continue with the success story and refill the Main Street position. His presentation was totally ignored and the next response was that they "study" the issue. That translates to work study meetings and more Council meetings while the tourism season slips by.

This raises the question: Why have these citizen committees? Is it just window dressing to make the public think they are involved?

I say, get rid of them and stop taking up these people's precious time. Let them devote that time to something useful and productive. I have served in GVRA on and off for over 10 years and have never been so frustrated and angry.

Last, but not least, the refilling of the Main Street Program coordinator's position is not even the Council's business. The Community Development Director and the Town Manager already had the authority to hire. The money was already in the budget. The effort to dismantle the Redevelopment and Main Street projects just took another step forward, thanks to Mayor Edwards and Council members unwilling to challenge him.

Dick Wolfe, Chairman, Green Valley Redevelopment/ Main Street Committee

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