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To the editor,
Last week’s newspaper reported, (in the story headlined “Old middle school, new city hall again take lead at council meeting,” page 1) that council member Danny Etheridge said of a proposal “It’s a bad idea. I’m not in favor of taking it for free and selling it.”
The proposal he said was bad was that the city accept the now abandoned building as a gift from the School Board and sell it to the Ministerial Faith Alliance (MFA) at a reduced price for development of a community/senior center for educational, recreational and cultural activities.
The money paid the City could then be used to build a new city hall, and MFA could use the money it saves for making needed renovations to the old building.
What is mysterious is that no reason was given for Etheridge’s opposition. Did the newspaper fail to quote him fully? Surely he didn’t say a proposal was bad without saying why.
We’re only left to speculate:
Is Etheridge advocating the City itself develop the former school building as a community center?
Does he oppose the proposal because he believes the little room at the south end of the current City Hall fully meets the needs of residents for community activities?
Does he think two large, dangerous, abandoned school buildings will be a benefit to the city?
Does he want to raise utility bills to pay for a new city hall?
Why aren’t we told why he opposes development of a community center at the old middle school? And why didn’t other city council members speak up to agree or disagree. Why the silence? Is the real reason for opposition “unspeakable”?