Friday, December 12, 2014

The Biggest "I told you so.": The Bricks Are Falling

We are a few weeks out from the new year and we are already in the midsts of a political SH** storm. The last few months we have sat idly by watching as certain leaders have made a multitude of decisions, or a lack there of that have put Holyoke under the spot light. It seems that it is almost weekly that we are hearing, "Holyoke made national news, again," yet for all the wrong reasons. This week we witnessed the announcement of a City Councilor who is making a drastic revert backwards in his career, stepping down from his seat to go for a Ward 6 chair. He has made claims that he is the only person that could do good for the ward. I disagree.

As a new resident and new community member in Ward 6, I do not want to be told there is a single candidate that will represent us. I do not want to hear that "I am the best, I am the only, I am better than my opponent, I am the only person in the Ward that can do the job." Sadly this self entitled delusion of grandeur is what we are being exposed to. We need choices, we need a set of ears that will be our voice in city hall.

This week has been thee biggest political, "I told you so" that I have ever witnessed. It didn't take a genius or a structural engineer to notice that there is a major issue happening and that in due time the Essex House would collapse if further neglected. Sure, there are standing orders to take it down. There is a contractor in place to due so. Of course there was a sever argument about the cost of doing so. There was even a very unintelligent idea of reversing the courts judgement and forcing the former building owner to take the building back into possession and make them liable for the demolition. Wow! Thats a brilliant idea, eh? I guess it was obvious months ago that the "Watch Dog" had/has plans for backward steps.

Yesterday a large portion of the building collapsed, as predicted, falling onto a neighboring building. Sounds bad right? Well, the worse part, aside from how awful it is that two businesses had to relocated due to the indecisive actions of some, residents had to be evacuated from their homes. For the foreseeable future there is a divide in downtown. I am not just talking about the literal roadblocking, but I also referencing the political divide that is only making things worse. This situation has become more costly, more dangerous, and does not bode well for the city.

Below are a few short clips of some aerial video I shot yesterday at the scene of the partial building collapse. The footage is key in helping the Fire Dept, Structural Engineers, and Contractors to evaluate the severity of the damage and assist them in planning the demolition based on the new damage. 

My questions are, as the "fiscal watch dog" what qualifications do you have?, what experience do you have?, what is your financial background as a leader that allows you to be "the only one" who can make financial decisions for the city, even when facts are given to you? How did you arrive at that self described title of "fiscal watch dog?" 

It has become clear that the "fiscal watch dog" does not have the city's and residents best interest in sight. This example of leadership is not conducive to running a city. Holyoke needs change. This change should not come in the form of a leader taking steps backwards from one seat to another to prevent a better choice from succeeding. This is not the kind of leadership we want or need, at least, not the kind of examples I want to vote for anyways.