Letter to the Editor

No bones to pick

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dear Editor,

Wow, Open Forum two-fers ... first the letter from Mayor Berry and then an excellent response from Gazette publisher, Shary Skiles.

I have the utmost respect for the Mayor and other members of city council; however, I am one of those low-down-dirty dogs who has the gall to disagree with some of their decisions.

I have no bones to pick with city employees; they have always been helpful. The fire department EMTs saved my wife's life numerous times, and I feel she lived an additional five years because of them.

Since the arrival of Mr. Fritsch some good stuff has happened. The city landed the National Guard project, they put zoning for the Urgent Care facility on a fast track and the city's support for the Keystone project made it happen.

The city manager is spearheading the long overdue demolition of nuisance and eyesore properties.

In a comment probably prompted by the sign that appeared on the Spirit Shoppe, the Mayor told us the North Water Well Field expenses had been paid long ago. No bragging rights there ... the city got us into the Air Base mess and they didn't pay for it. All property owners had a big hit in their 2004 taxes to pay off the judgement.

For the mayor to infer the Gazette and those of us who comment are guilty of "falsehoods and misleading information" is unwarranted. I request he be specific, and if I am guilty I will apologize.

Publisher Skiles was specific when she corrected the Mayor's misinformation of the city budget vs the CPI. Was he trying to mislead us?

There isn't a soul in McCook who loves this town more than I do. My K-12 years (1946 -1958) were here. I visited frequently until my parents moved to Colorado in 1970. I remember the hustle and bustle of those years.

Every nook and cranny was home to some type of business. (Many down town buildings have been torn down, there were far more than there are now)

I moved back to McCook in 2000 to find fewer folks and fewer businesses. In the 10 years since, here is a brief overview, come and gone: Autozone, Blockbuster, Movie Gallery, The Stage, Carpet King, Mirastar Gas.

Gone: Ben Franklin, Self Serve Furniture, two used car dealers, Redman's Shoes, Country Buffet, Radio Shack, Sew & Vac, My Favorite Things, in 2000 we had three super markets, now two, four convenience stores, now three, three jewelers, now two, three hardware stores, soon to be one.

True, there have been replacements and additions but they do not equal what we have lost. By comparison in 1958 as I recall, there were seven places selling ladies clothing and five places a fella could buy a pair of dress shoes.

I'm not trying to be negative, I'm trying to sound the alarm. The city must aggressively pursue a plan to attract business, which will attract more shoppers,create jobs and generate more sales taxes.

As to the Gazette, I feel they do a bang-up job of keeping us informed about our local governmental actions. I was a little surprised to see they are in favor of the proposed municipal facility.

Did the Gazette stop publishing a Saturday paper because they had too many subscribers and sold too much advertising?

How much new advertising will the new municipal building generate? I can guarantee you no business will locate here or family move here because we have a new city hall.

Maybe I should buy some rose-colored glasses.

'Nuff said,

Bill Frasier,


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  • Well Said, Bill. I am not as up to date as you, but I agree with most all you say, here, especially about the municipal facility (which I still seem to remember not passing in a vote of the People). But, then, I gave up being a part of municipal government five years ago, or so (elsewhere).

    Be Blessed. Arley Steinhour

    -- Posted by Navyblue on Tue, Jul 27, 2010, at 8:45 PM
  • In and of itself, THIS is exactly what the City Manager and Mayor were referring to.... A single sided look at the City Government. Negativity trumping the entire story. Now, because the opinion was just that, an opinion, it can be one sided. (I think Bill Frasier attemped to make the posting look even keel with the "no bones to pick" and a few notes about some positive items but in passing at best, before introducing the negative items, which compared to the 4 meger paragraphs regarding the good, was quite the contrast to the 12 paragrphs of not just negative items but in list form of business losses, by the way, Movie Gallery was a national company shut down not prompted by the McCook branch, as well as Mirastar I believe, and if you are truely not trying to sound negative Bill, I have to say, stating that our current stores that have replaced those lost do not equal what we've lost isn't a real slap on the back to our replacement stores.

    Also keep in mind that things are a bit different now than they were in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s even the 80s. A little thing.....so little in fact that its weightlessness or should I say "waitlessness" in todays instant society, caused a major swing in the way we, America & the rest of the world do business. This little thing is called THE INTERNET and I think it's catching on. Is it putting Mom & Pop Shops out of business, sure it is, and I like the old world Norman Rockwell Christmas scene even more than the next guy, but those days are gone here and across the planet and it hasn't a lot to do with our local government. Mom & Pop Shops can't stay in business with the super stores throwing their buying power around unless we support them and from what I gather, the tax payers here don't want the City to spend any money so I guess its up to EVERYONE ELSE to spend their dollars with Mom & Pop. I have now come full circle, You have mentioned how our local government is in some way responsible for McCook's decline in business (a negative) when in truth, its the tax payers themselves that need to support these decreasing businesses. (A broader look at the subject).

    Again, ALL the Mayor and City Manager ask for is an unbiased report rather than one which steers the readers to a conclusion. They don't want zero coverage, just fair coverage. I challange you to read back through any old City related story and find the writing to be, in the words of Joe Friday, "just the facts" they prompt direction, but that's what sells the paper. I've said it before, "Good journalism is unbiased, Successful journalism sells the paper."

    Here is as much of a fact as that in the media these days. "The news paper, radio news, and the evening news on TV need 1 thing to be sucessful, an audience, that requires creative writing, writing that gets under the skin of said audience, raises their blood pressure and creates a buzz.

    The media does what they have to, BUT that is just successful journalism, not to mistaken with "good journalism"

    -- Posted by PensiveObserver on Tue, Jul 27, 2010, at 11:14 PM
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