This blog chronicles and analyzes developments in the Upper Delaware Valley, with an emphasis on public affairs, politics and what people are doing to make this a better place. You can find news here as well as commentary - but don't expect neutrality. The award-winning editorial writer for The River Reporter from 2004 to 2012, I am an advocate for sustainability, self-sufficient economic growth vs. globalization and protecting the environment on which our health, prosperity and quality of life depend.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Introducing the "I'm Against It" awards

One of the more depressing features of attending public meetings out and about the Upper Delaware Valley is the small but devoted cadre of attendees who seem to be there for the sole purpose of telling other people who are trying to make things better why that can't be done.

About a month ago we found ourselves listening to a trio of such naysayers at an Upper Delaware Council meeting, who met a couple of requests for UDC letters supporting two local townships' applications for state matching grants with stern questions as to how the townships were  proposing to pay for the matching portion of the funds.

To begin with, if the UDC is charged with being the tax police for its individual member towns, this is the first we've heard of it, and we've read the River Management Plan more than once. Beyond that, it's hard to see how we are going to make a better life for ourselves in this river valley if, every time somebody makes an effort to improve things (using free state money, yet), this self-appointed posse rides in explaining that we're too poor to do anything but hunker down and suffer.

Last night at the second night of a charrette held in connection with a state grant (already obtained, thank you) for a river corridor waterfront revitalization project, we were again reminded of this syndrome by some remarks by Noel van Swol of the Town of Fremont. The event has inspired us to create an "I'm Against It" award series, to be presented in the righthand column of this blog, which will appear from time to time documenting the newest in this series of depressing incidents. And if you want to know our inspiration for the award's name, see Professor Wagstaff (aka Groucho Marx) performing below:

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