The Gladstone City Commissioners seem to be a little unappreciated. The Monday evening "special assessment meeting" on the Delta Avenue project prompted more than one commissioner to admit surprise at the standing room only gathering of irate citizens the project will effect and another to say they'd like to be thanked for the good things they do too! Awww!
Well! I would like to thank the entire commission and staff for showing up on a Sunday for a special meeting, obviously interrupting their busy afternoon from laughing comments made by most at this dais. I for one was still appreciative. It took less than an hour for them to vote, unanimously, to go ahead with the project as planned.
Need I bore you with the details?
Oh, ok - it would cost a little over $5,000 additional to cancel the project, plus two years of lower status in being considered for another grant. They also kept the assessment.
Consider our hands slapped.
Yet how did we get to this point of surprise at a very full meeting that could have been avoided? Was it the lack of consideration for safety, and traffic, and snow removal that no one on that commission seemed to know how to address let alone correct, or will have to live with every day? Failure to have full and open, accurate communication to the residents, especially the special assessment, had nothing to do with the loss of cable TV live coverage of meetings (an excuse mentioned) although it was a contributing factor.
I've professed this in the very venue with respects to the board of education. Information and facts delivered openly, accurately, and in a timely manner, preferably live and on TV (for everyone to see your face and hear your words/your vote) is essential for informed happy residents. The city saved a few bucks canceling live coverage of meetings and it cost them this grief and our angst. Still our angst!
And, to the soft spoken gentleman at Sunday's meeting who asked about the safety of his 5 year-old daughter boarding a school bus in heavier traffic and cars that even now pass a stopped, flashing yellow lights school bus in front of his house - I am sure the flustered mayor meant he has informed the police department of this illegal practice.
Thanks Gladstone commissioners. I was not surprised at all.
Dorothy A. Bielik