No bones to pick
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.