Old Timer

I catch a lot of crap for this column.

Because I have an opinion, I instantly irritate some portion of the population no matter what I have to say. That doesn’t bug me much (at all), but I feel I could be doing better at irritating a greater number of people with each column.

So for the next few, I’m just going to cover a variety of topics that I see happening around town. The way I see it, the more topics I can cover, the more people will get twisted up. With this said, let’s go:

THINGS I DON’T UNDERSTAND

Why the City keeps telling you that they really tried to buy the property that is set to become Shoreline.

Yours truly actually picked up a phone and talked to Mr. & Mrs. Bergmann about how everything went down, and well, they are none too pleased. I’m going to spare you the ins and outs of exactly how we have found ourselves where we are today, but 1. the Bergmanns are heartbroken at what is being done to their property and 2. The City never EVER offered them what they have told you repeatedly: $1.6m. In fact, the original offer was exactly $0. They just asked them to donate the property to the City and they would then get a park named after themselves. They declined.

Just remember this the next time the City spits out their PR that tells you about how diligently they have worked to preserve or protect a particular resource…sometimes they didn’t at all…but they apparently have no problem telling you that they did.

THINGS I UNDERSTAND

A great amount of breath-holding regarding our new City Council.

Well, the whole council has flipped to some fresh blood. Well, Nina is a hold-out, but all the others are brand new. It’s taken 8 years for this to happen and is indicative of a sort of desperation from the populace that things simply HAD to change. They were all just sworn in, they have their agendas set…and I just sense the whole damn town, wide-eyed, nail biting, and watching. We’ll see what happens, but I’m optimistic. These are some good folks in charge now and I trust they understand that they need to undo some real political damage in town and will set out to do so. Of course, I always said I liked the past Council members as good people and they still called me a pot-stirrer, so whatever. Here’s to hoping.

THINGS I DON’T UNDERSTAND

Why we have an all-white PD car with no markings.

I love our cop friends. I know a lot of them and support them and think they’re great people.

We shouldn’t be doing things like this with “hidden” police vehicles.

The role of police is to keep the peace. They keep that peace (typically) simply by having a presence that keeps people in line. You don’t cause trouble when you just see a cop standing nearby. When we buy a hidden PD car that is designed to blend into traffic (so you can’t see it), you’re clearly trying to catch me speeding due to the fact that I can’t see you. I don’t like it. Now you’re not preventing crime, you’re just hoping to catch me doing it. Cars with lights and all the markings are seen, and people slow down, they don’t commit the break-in, etc. Hiding in plain public tells me that you’re hoping I DO commit the crime, so you can ticket me. Which makes you money. It should be the opposite. Hell, put a siren on your car ala the ice cream truck. Run routes through town. Speeding/crime would drop because the citizens would come to see that you guys are everywhere…not hidden in plain sight.

THINGS I DO UNDERSTAND

Why Berges Fest is pissed.

Berges Fest is on Town Square. Always has been. It’s been there since the damn event started. It’s as old-fashioned as apple pie and every old timer in town has a memory of going to the Square and dancing and riding rides and drinking beer. But then it rains one year and the grass gets tore all to hell during the event. The City throws an epic tantrum because they had to fix the grass and boots Berges Fest to the Fairgrounds. Since then, the event has struggled.

Keep in mind that twice a month the city lets some 200 vendors set up booths on that pristine grass for Market Days. Then they let cars park all over it for whatever car show we’re having. Sometimes it even rains during those events and the grass gets messed up. But the City hasn’t thrown one of its tantrums over these issues, only at Berges Fest. This should be Mayor Handren’s first order of business – FIX THIS INJUSTICE. Berges Fest should be back at Town Square and it should never be moved again. And whoever blocked it from being on Town Square should be handed a wire brush and told to clean all city toilets for a month as punishment.



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