LEAVE IT TO PEEVER

 

I got Galesburg on my mind

 

— Bumper sticker of the week: It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

— Quotes of the week: “Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.” Redd Foxx

“A McDonald’s 'Breakfast for under a Dollar' actually costs much more than that. You have to factor in the cost of coronary bypass surgery.” George Carlin

— Never ask an attorney their opinion of someone's character: That’s exactly what they do to come up with a rating for would-be judges. Could there possibly be a worse group of people to ask? Forty-three attorneys apparently responded to the recent survey sent out before the last primary election. Now they think there may have been foul play. Duh. What’s worse than 43 attorneys' opinions concerning a fellow attorney's character? Answer: nothing.

— The ten things I would change about Galesburg:

1. Number one has to be the leadership, or lack thereof. In the 26 years I have been in town, I have seen maybe 3–4 capable leaders surface. We’ve had no one with the vision, the energy, or the guts to stand up and say, “Here is where we need to go.” It’s been the same old story-line time after time. I see this as by far our biggest weakness, and plays a major role in the next nine.

2. Someone should have, years ago, and still should, talk to the railroad about a number of serious community diminishing problems that are a result of their presence. There should be a no-honk ordinance after 10 or 11pm. This can be done, has been done elsewhere, and should be done here. But it won’t be. As they say in Muskegon, “The council has no balls.” Paulsgrove will derail anything that the railroad might see as a problem. Which leads us to underpasses and overpasses. We should have easily another 2 or 3. This should have been pushed 25 years ago. Now we’re suffering the consequences.

3. You take a walk down Broad, Cherry, Prairie, pretty much anywhere, and you see these fabulous old homes chopped up into 4-5-6 apartments. Sure these big old houses are dinosaurs. Sure they cost a fortune to maintain. But whoever allowed these slumlords to chop them up into multiple apartments were wrong. Just plain wrong. They provide unsafe dwelling and end up being an eyesore. They can easily ruin a neighborhood. They would be better off torn down than insulted.

4.   It was, and remains, criminal to allow Illinois Power to destroy all the trees lining our streets. It looks pathetic. It looks like a tornado bussed up and down each of our streets, leaving ugliness in its path. Ends up it’s only Illinois Power, hungry for profit.

5.   The town is out of control with drugs. This seriously damages our marketability. It drives us further and further away from “a great place to live and raise your children.”

6.   I keep hearing from teachers that the high school is out of control. This is a classical case of generational power swapping. We, being the older generation, are suppose to make the rules and enforce them. They, being the younger generation, are supposed to follow them. It’s really all very simple. (Refer to quote from Muskegon).

7.   Our economic development has been pathetic. This obviously has to do with number one. It has been unrealistic and ineffective. It tries to sell the wrong things, to the wrong people, for the wrong reasons. The result is, now we’ll jump at anything. This is a recipe for disaster. Watch out for seriously damaging businesses to surface as our leadership desperately attempts to show they got the right stuff.

8.   I think Galesburg has to go back to a full-time mayor. Sure it’s politics. What ain’t? Anyone

interested in locating a business in Galesburg wants to know who is in charge. Currently, in Galesburg, there is no answer to that question. A city planner should be on staff, at about half the present salary. It should be very clear who is in charge: An elected mayor, accountable to the citizens.

9. The two hospitals should be one. That entity should be non-profit and community oriented. We could have the best health-care system in the state, with our own universal heath-care plan. We wouldn’t need any other economic development than that. But no, we miss the opportunity. A serious lack of vision.

10. Downtown Galesburg had probably one of the better opportunities to remain a center of commerce and act as a major community gathering place. It is set up just right. With any type of foresight at all, and the right business incentives, our downtown could be a great, prosperous place. Instead, we build a false front, paint it green, and expect a miracle. It ain’t going to happen. You have to have viable businesses. Once again, we are about to see them put these businesses on the outskirts of town. We never learn. (Refer to # 1).