LETTER TO THE EDITOR, Charles Craig, Liberal
Earl Watt has written an op-ed piece that I have been waiting for since 1982.
I have lived in small very successful towns in very different states and three large cities, so I have some insight into city growth and a viewpoint that lets me see what Earl is talking about in his column in the April 26 edition.
He’s right about the problems of our own city. Except for Don Rash and Gary Doze, I haven’t talked to anybody that knows what needs to happen in Liberal to help it plan better.
The first big mistake Liberal made was years ago when we were taken to the cleaners by a con man who cost us $30 million. I know there’s no point in reliving that incident. But the great majority of Liberal’s leaders were gung ho for it. We know its in the past, but it is really foolish to forget serious mistakes.
Mr. Watt’s concerns are that we keep trying new people in the city manager’s job, and many other staffers without any clear idea of the goals set for these people.
This reminds me of the classic definition of “insanity,” which is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
I tried when I was on the commission to come up with a five-, 10- and 20-year plan.
I don’t know exactly what plans Mr. Watt has in mind, but when I was on the commission, my four-year goal was to sell Trailmobile, get a new city hall and a new police department building. We did get a new swimming pool, brought Walgreens to town, and I personally got the code department to get rid of more than 500 junk cars around town.
I’ve always thought listing code violations, eyesores, substandard buildings, etc., in the paper would be a good idea. I don’t know if that’s legal, but publicity is a powerful weapon.
Earl Watt has always wanted the best for Liberal and has gone to bat for a lot of things. I might not agree with all of them, but we need a lot more people with ideas and energy to help see them through to completion.
Maybe we could ask for ideas from citizens on a personal one-on-one basis. It’s something to think about.
It takes time to get good at anything — city manager, city commissions or whatever. We don’t need a new one every two years.
One more thought — what exactly were the jobs Brad Beer and Chris Ford took over from the city manager and why?