Published 8:36 pm Monday, March 2, 2009
We really have no hard-core specifics about the master plan for the development of a riverfront, although the planners from Birmingham warned the dozen or so members of the public gathered at Monday’s public hearing that the plan was conceptual.
What that means, apparently, is nothing is set in stone. The plan is fluid. This creates some discomfort in times of economic stress, such as these.
For example, the concept comes with an $8.7 million price tag, much of which will come from grants and sharing money.
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But the plan, as presented, gave those in attendance nothing to hold on to — no dates, no lists of grant amounts applied for, nothing written down about target dates for grants or lists of possible grants and amounts — nothing that shows the public something tangible.
When someone asks about the plan, that person is told a copy will be made public after the council approves it.
We think not. These are public dollars being spent on public projects for use by the public. The public elects its officials to represent them, not pat them on the heads like small children and tell them they know what’s best for them. And, at the outset, it was not the council that said they would approve the plan before releasing it publicly; the city employees said that.
City hall should release any and all plans immediately regarding this master plan. The council should not vote on this Tuesday night. The council should not cast a vote on this project until the plans are very public in every detail.
This newspaper stands prepared to publish them, just as it has public safety reports and other official documents.
Come on. Show the public something beside pretty picture. Talk beyond generalities.
After all, this is our future. All of us.