You Can Fool Some …

Editor, News-Register:

Trust Us!

Somewhere in my memory banks I recall the following being promised “a chicken in every pot, and a car in every garage,” and, “Government Of, By, and For the People…not the monied interests.” The first quote was by Herbert Hoover (1928), and the second was by Ralph Nader (2000).

Now our current mayor and city council seem to be prepared to ignore reality, and both of the previous quotes. The city has millions in long-term debt, the population continues to decline (less than 27,000), urban decay plagues our neighborhoods, and our streets, sewers, sidewalks, water distribution system, and parking garages, among other things, are in desperate need of repairs. All of this at great expense to the remaining taxpayers.

Our elected officials believe the answer is to “keep digging the hole” (quote from the 60s) by wanting to build another parking garage (unneeded) and a new public safety building. “Keep digging the hole” also means to continue to do something wrong (that’s the hole) and then to defend it, and continuing to do it, or ignore the fact that you’ve been wrong. Which brings me to another quote. “One of the main ways that leadership stays in power is by, in various ways, convincing people that they should just let those who are in government govern: Trust us, Trust me. Just let us take care of things. Stay out of it. Your opinions don’t really matter. You are isolated. You are insignificant” (A quote from Viggo Mortensen).

Our elected officials are blind to reality, and contrary to their belief, we can’t spend ourselves into prosperity, Wheeling will never have a significant downtown shopping area as it did in the 50s & 60s. The stores moved to the Mall and the Highlands, and now we’re seeing the effects the internet and online shopping has on malls.

Change is inevitable, we need to develop and market, our strengths by attacking the blight in our neighborhoods and improving our infrastructure. Creating 126 apartment units in an old 13-story building will not revitalize Wheeling. I would have thought by now that the community leaders, not the elected officials, would have pointed out the fallacy in frivolously wasting our tax dollars for these ridiculous ego-driven projects. I was approached by a citizen who claimed that he had spoken to a councilman about funding for these projects. According to this individual’s recollection of the conversation, the councilman stated that a “user fee” was to be enacted. When questioned further, the councilman allegedly stated “the charge amounts to only a couple of beers a week.” Nice comparison for him to use; to some people it amounts to a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk.

I’ll leave you with this quote, which I’m sure you’ve heard before: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” (Abraham Lincoln).

Hope Springs Eternal!

J. Jacobs

Wheeling

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