To the editor:
This City Council has a chance to go down in history as the one that understood what was needed when it was needed, or it will be remembered as the one that squandered millions of development dollars, broke our promises and set back revitalization and development for a generation.
The crosstown connector is more than a street project. It is a key to the economic future of our community. If we ever expect the western part of our city to rebound from its current state of disrepair, we must invest in the infrastructure to support revitalization. The crosstown connector is that infrastructure.
If we ever expect potential new employers to agree to come to our city or current businesses to expand here, we must have a history of keeping our promises to those that came before. The crosstown connector is a promise that has already been made, and it is your job to keep it.
Several of you are new to public office. Some of you campaigned against the crosstown connector during the most recent campaign.As a person that has run or advised campaigns for political office in the past, one thing I learned is that what a candidate thinks is the right course during a campaign can and should be trumped by the information that becomes available to an elected public official once in office. This is the case here. The question is not whether we picked the right street to improve, but whether we want to move forward or backward.
It's time to look again at these obvious facts. It is not a credible idea to assume that development money will hang around for two to three years while we play political games with the project. It is a fact that we have made promises in order to encourage Fareway to move and expand. It is a fact that huge numbers of people have made it known that they understand what is at stake, and are urging you to do the right thing and move the project forward.
For those of you who already support the crosstown connector, thank you. For those of you who have opposed it, I implore you to just sit down with the facts and rethink your positions. What's at stake is more important than personal feelings or political rhetoric.
It's time to move forward right now. Please vote for the crosstown connector project as it has been developed, and as it has been promised.