Once In a Lifetime

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CENTRAL FIRST BLUE b     There are not very many decisions, as a city, that can truly be seen as “Once in a Lifetime” decisions.  Bear in mind that the “Lifetime” of a city can be measured in centuries, so these decisions are even that much more important.
    As a new city, Central has seen several such decisions in its first nine years.  Becoming a city, creating a school system, and privatizing our city services probably rank amongst the most significant.  Now we face three more that, in my opinion, rank way up on the list, so be on the lookout for these decisions over the next few months.
    City Center – Where will City Center be located?  This is the name given to the complex or area of development that will one day be considered “downtown” and also be the home to city hall.  Bear in mind that we only get one shot at this, so let’s not settle for anything less than what we want for our grandkids to enjoy 50 years from now.
    The leading candidate, and my favored site since the building of the new school complex, has been the corner of Hooper and Sullivan on the site of the original Central School.  I could support another good location as well, but above all let’s remember that City Center is to be a gathering place for an entire community, and let’s plan for the growth.
    Council Representation – How to elect council members and how many to elect has been a hot topic for the better part of three years.  We currently have five council members elected city-wide.  Our elected officials all campaigned on districts of some sort, and many of them support adding two more council seats.
    As for me,five districts and no additional council members is the right decision.  I fully support putting these decisions on a ballot for a vote of the people, but I also recognize that it is the legal right of the council to make the decision at a council meeting.  If you have an opinion, let a council member hear from you.
    1927 Auditorium – Support for historic preservation and the arts is as important, in its own way, as buildings, budgets, and elections.  The arts speak volumes about who we are and what we appreciate beyond jobs and raising kids.  The arts also can be an economic benefit to our city and help build our community identity.
    The effort to restore the 1927 Auditorium will involve many people, and the creation of a museum and cultural center will benefit many more.  If you have a chance to help in a workday, encourage or thank a school board member for their support, or make a donation, consider the “Once in a Lifetime” opportunity to save this piece of Central’s history.  That would be Good News for a Great City.