Ideas for Wheeling
Given we are half-way toward the next mayoral election, perhaps it is time see what the future holds for Wheeling. The past two years are in the past and best forgotten.
I pen this letter because of the mayor’s three-minute limit on residents’ input concerning the future of Wheeling; this limit censors residents’ thought and indulges the mayor’s predisposed thought; therefore, I share some blue-penciled thoughts with your readership.
A metamorphosis needs to be acted upon to elevate Wheeling from a stagnated, broken-down, backward city to a driver of thought and innovation. To date that has not been considered in City Hall. I speak not to dethrone the mayor, “but I am to speak what I do know.”
This metamorphosis is as more a psychological push than a physical one.
The easy, inexpensive physical push would be to install and require flower gardens on all vacant lots; commission historical murals and markers throughout downtown; build a facsimile of Fort Henry, a frontier post, on city-owned island property to attract visitors year-round; commission off and on, horse-drawn colonial carriages for visitors to travel past historical and commercial attractions; recruit local actors portraying historical luminaries to stroll city streets, accompanied by musicians; sponsor Saturday night dances on the Market and 12th Street intersection, with free instructions; pave Main & Market Streets and bill the state. The mayor, after pleas from this writer, has ignored these improvements.
The psychological push for the city to be a driver of thought and innovation, a celebrate of success, is to undergo a complete change of image before the nation. The City of Wheeling, once a beacon for the state, must cut the cord connecting it to a regressive, incompetent antebellum-thinking state legislature.
A change of image is not rocket science: Such a change must capture the nation’s attention, and the population will come. The mayor, who has the bully pulpit, must speak up for or against issues affecting the nation, subsequently the Northern Panhandle.
Opportunities to speak out fly daily across the nation’s horizon; they will bring population growth, and financial success — although they have a brief flight.
If I could become the mayor’s backbone, this is what he would state starting January I: “Visit Wheeling, the new beacon for human dignity. I intend to welcome the LGBT Community with open arms, giving them secure and leisure hospitality; I declare marijuana usage a misdemeanor within city limits; I declare the city to be a supporter of the Paris Agreement and a foe of environmental destruction; I declare a $15-an-hour minimum wage for city employees and the end of part-time employment; I aggressively embrace women’s rights, wage parity; I especially extend a welcoming and protective hand to any women’s movement, be it Me2, Pro-choice, Pro-life, or wage parity to use city streets to rally supporters; I support family planning clinics for those females without the wherewithal to go out of state; I will build mini-dwellings, affording the homeless dignity; if fossil prosperity continues to force marginal residents onto the streets, then I will support rent control to counter disenfranchisement. Drug addictions and deaths are spiraling beyond control therefore I will initiate a 100 percent free drug rehabilitation and cure center; I will crusade for African-American participation in city and business leadership; I state that recycling cannot be thoroughly handled in the private sector without government assistance, and failing that, government management.
There will be grumblings at the ballot box, but they must be suffered for the good of Wheeling rather than for the good of a second term.
The aforementioned seized opportunities will gain national attention, bring heretofore-reluctant visitors, families, and businesses to the city; it will raise the spirits of citizens whose daily mantra is “hanging in there”; it will retain the city’s youth whose energy and enterprise drive them to superior environments. The mayor’s newly-found policies are not delusions; they are taking place all over this country.
A backbone is needed, not a jawbone.