‘Spending taxpayer money foolishly again’

Dear editor,

Well, here we go again, spending money foolishly.

Wasn’t it not too long ago when our “leaders” had some company decide on what kind of businesses Rockdale could support.

I believe the answer was an “Arby’s”. Taxpayer cost for this answer, $25,000.

Now, I read in your newspaper a few issues back that the city “ leaders” approved a $30,000 expenditure to gather data on the downtown district.

An outside company is suppose to come into town and ask questions of all the downtown businesses as to what they think we should have in the downtown district, so then the ideas presented will be totally from local folks according to a spokesman for the Downtown Association and for MDD.

If this is the case, why don’t the Downtown Association members gather this information on their own and present it to the city at no taxpayer cost?

It is k ind of ironic to see $ 30,000 expenditure in the headlines to be spent for ideas and few pages over we see a picture of a glass of downtown dark water which is undrinkable.

Surely, most of us know what we need in our city for our citizens and we don’t need to try to get over this hump by spending $30,000, we are already there.

Now, we need to implement a program to determine the feasibility of these ideas.

For example, I believe most would agree that we need a “Continuing Care Community Development for Seniors” here in Milam County.

Our citizens, also, would agree, I believe, to develop a “feasibility” data base for all kinds of businesses which we are lacking in Rockdale so that if someone wants to open a business they could first check to see if this type of business would be profitable in Rockdale by reviewing the feasibility study previously obtained.

Several years ago I proposed an idea for development which was to widen Cameron Avenue through downtown to four lanes and to maintain diagonal parking along its entire length to the city limits adding sidewalks on both sides and to remove utility lines to the alleys or to bury them. Too bold? Perhaps.

And, maybe, the local financial institutions would agree to develop a low interest BIL (Business Improvement Loan) at each institution calling for repayment over a three to five- year period to businesses which have been operating for at least five years in Rockdale.

It seems our “leaders” want to be able to direct the activities of others by hiring others but do not want to do any of the voluntary work themselves. I heard a recently elected president of an organization say the other day that “I’m not going to do it all, I’ll help”.

Well, you see a leader has to be able to lead and if something needs to get done the president takes the lead and does it, if no one else will.

So, I say to the Downtown Association leaders, get busy, have the city rescind the $30,000 taxpayer expenditure and prepare the data for dow ntow n yourselves.

And, to the MDD. Could you find enough money to paint the roof of the old hangar at the airport? It’s an eyesore and the grounds of the airport need a bit of landscaping don’t you think?

Bill Vogelpohl

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2012-03-15 digital edition

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