When The Gazette invited me to write an editorial, I immediately accepted. Little did I realize that approaching and broaching the subject of politics in Marion could be daunting.
Yes, I am seeking a return to the at-large seat I vacated, missing the 2009 election. I became my mother’s caregiver and after three years, I discovered I could no longer multitask. And therein, are the problems I seek to resolve.
Transparency in government: I have questioned practices/decisions, both by mail and at City Council meetings. I asked why the bricks were being used on Sixth Avenue when it is such a busy street and, if the plans are completed, will become busier. No answer.
By mail, I questioned the policy, before it became an ordinance, of giving the city manager control of some real estate purchases, in conjunction with approval by the mayor or mayor pro tem, without the express consent of the City Council. The city attorney replied: Since there was no state law prohibiting it, the city was exercising Home Rule.
I appeared before the City Council to inquire as to the practice when you hear a siren behind you and stated the standard procedure was to pull to the right and stop. Fire equipment would be unable to clear the planned roundabout. Mr. Craig Adamson (incumbent council member), with his vast experience in traffic control and accident investigation, stated that the cars would just have to keep driving until they could exit. His comments superseded any that the police chief could make.
I apologize for not paying closer attention to the roundabouts in the initial plans. At first glance they looked great, I was accustomed to the Washington, D.C., example. It is a multilane circle and as I remember it, took me 20 minutes to escape it. As to the Marion plan, it appears to be a two-lane roadway. I question the capability of school busses, emergency vehicles and semis making deliveries to businesses in the uptown area to be able to “stay in the circle.”
Marion is an old railroad town, older than Cedar Rapids. It deserves the respect it has earned by refurbishing and enhancing, not disrupting and destroying.