All Roads Lead To
A Bright Bay City Future
Just A Few Potholes Need to be Filled
August 1, 2002
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By: O. J. Cunningham
THE GOOD - Diane Middleton, Bay Arts Council Director, looks on during recent Wenona Park concert
THE BAD & UGLY - The dilapidated remains of the once proud Industrial Brownhoist Company
I think when we look back, maybe 10 years from now, the summer of 2002 will be remembered as that moment in time when "It All Came Together" in Bay City.
It will be the summer, we'll reminisce, when many long-awaited projects came to fruition. Projects that were a long time coming. But most, I think will agree (when they look back), that it was well worth the wait.Hats off to the City of Bay City
for their glorious road work at the end of Columbus Avenue. The drive up WaterStreet (North, from Lafayette to Columbus) is a tribute to civil engineers anywhere in the State.
Yet, there is work to be done. You might even say . . . potholes to be filled. The looming piles of Bay Aggregate rock are "being moved" they keep telling us. But the wheels of progress roll ever so slowly. And as soon as the rocks are gone, we'd best (as a city) start planning the demolition of those ugly, green buildings fondly know as the "old I.B."The library project on Center Avenue,
as well as the refurbishing of existing library buildings is finally well under way. A "pothole", namely the renewal of the Library Operating Millage, is on the ballot for August 6. The failure of this renewal millage to pass (it is not a new taxation, only a renewal) would be nothing less than catastrophic. I can almost hear the laughter all the way from the set of Jay Leno or Letterman. "Voters pass millage to build new million dollar library - Then vote down millage to operate the newly constructed facility." How embarrassing would that be?
Do we dare trust that the Hotel-Conference and Convention Center Project
down at River's Edge is moving forward (after so many years)? The political "potholes" that surround this decade-long endeavor are deep and numerous. But local political insiders tell me that although the road may be narrow and still a bit bumpy, it is truly passable in terms of completing this much needed anchor project on our waterfront.
There has beenconsiderable frustration in the community about the slow movement of projects (like the ones listed above). But today, in the midst of the summer of 2002, I think indications are that Bay City is about to leap boldy into the future. I think we are ready to fill and/or repair the potholes of frustration and GET IT DONE.
During the past week, I had the opportunity to talk with Diane Middleton
of the Bay Arts Council concerning the slate of events planned for the Wenona Park BandShell in August. Later the same day, i sat down with Mary Stuart
, Executive Director of the Downtown Management Board and discussed the focus of her group with repect to the growth potential of Bay City's downtown core business area.
Both of these young women are relatively new in their job positions. They are "Doers" or what you might call "Go-Getters." If it were up to them, I think they would drive the trucks, swing the hammers and do whatever it takes to GET IT DONE . . . especiallyif they thought it was good for Bay City.
Like me, they believe the Convention Center will be built. Like me, they trust that the millage will pass and the library will blossom on Center Avenue. Like me, they feel the riverside rock piles will be gone some day, the IB buildings will be bulldozed out of the way and a beautiful waterfront addition will thrive on our river's shoreline.
Like me, they see potholes and know how to fill them. Like me, they see a road to a bright Bay City future.
Columns Article 74
O. J. Cunningham
O. J. Cunningham is the Publisher of MyBayCity.com. Cunningham previously published Sports Page & Bay City Enterprise. He is the President/CEO of OJ Advertising, Inc.
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