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Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Little Hot Dog Co. or: More Proof of Reverse-Gentrification in the Neighborhoods

Check the picture...

Yeah, that's two more new businesses in downtown Wilkes-Barre.

If you're up on the latest, you already know the mayoral race in this city is suddenly attracting potential candidates faster than Council Chair Kathy Kane can hammer-down on the gavel. If all of the people currently carrying nominating petitions actually declare their intent to run for mayor, the candidate's debate may need to be a marathon to cover all of the pressing issues. In fact, we may need to rent the Muckahegan Sun Arena so as to provide a stage wide enough to comfortably sit this fast-growing group.

But the picture posted above makes me wonder about how many of those potential candidates could have taken a shuttered, abandoned and broken downtown and turned it into a thriving center of commerce in less than eight years. Based on their preliminary resumes coupled with their threadbare, contrariety-laced platforms (neighborhoods), I'd bet that not a one of them could have worked the virtual miracle we've recently lived through. Not a one.

With that said, I can't even imagine being so completely bereft of ideas that I'd base my mayoral campaign on the promise of much more timely replacements of missing street signs. Aren't there phone numbers on those city calendars they distribute a month late every year? Last I checked, the city had a better-then-average Web site with feedback email addresses provided. A street sign? What's this? A return to the McGroarty years? Vote for me, I'll show up with a new sign and the press in tow, meanwhile, we rack up $10.5 million in overdue, unpaid debts?

So everybody and their kid brother wants to be the next mayor, everybody is promising to fix the neighborhoods, but I have yet to hear a single specific about what they will fix or how they will endeavor to fix it. All I've heard is this incessantly inferred claptrap about how the neighborhoods must have suffered while the downtown was being incrementally reclaimed from the druggies, the prostitutes, the homeless vagabonds and the petty criminals. Remember when?

And I would say to you that the great majority of the perceived problems in your neighborhoods more closely correlate to the general breakdown of morality in our society than to anything any administration of this city has or has not done. Societal decay cannot be blamed on any one mayor, on any one city council or on any one chief of police. And to purposely pretend otherwise is to immediately disqualify oneself from being suitable for public service during the ongoing decline of Amerika.

Anyway, the owners of two more new businesses have invested in Wilkes-Barre's future. But somewhere out there in the darkness, there's a sign post crying out for a replacement sign.

I'm certainly no political consultant of the legendary Ed Mitchell ilk, but y'all have got to do better than this.



Anonymous said...

WB has improved, but maybe someone does have better ideas, although I agree with you.......WHAT ARE THE IDEAS?

The more people in the mix could hurt the mayor. Which could be a strategy by someone else. Get a bunch of folks to run, take votes away and the next most well known name wins.

zorcong said...

I've said all along that this current mayor, the mayor who pulled the city back from the fast-approaching abyss, has gotten more guff than any of those who came before him who basically had the city on auto-pilot.

Ideas are welcome.

His track record speaks volumes.