March 8 mini-UPDATE, John Oliver Edition: Oliver ripped on "special districts" in this vid but managed to cover a number of items that sound Enid-familiar. Worth a watch for everything he covered:
An entirely chance encounter while shopping on Saturday put a huge smile on my face, for it was a City employee, who shall remain nameless, offering me kudos for becoming such a regular at the City Commission meetings, and that I should keep it up. I responded with thanks, pointing out that all I was doing was just "riding herd". This employee wasn't the first to do so, I must point out, though; I encountered the first one while attending the various Christmas musical performances during the Christmas season, a person who additionally quipped that I'm probably famous now after appearing so much on the City's cable access channel (which covers the City Commission meetings). Had to remind this person that nobody's really famous until they start getting dogged by the National Enquirer.
Nonetheless, in some respects all that herd-riding has paid off in terms of street improvements now being realized in front of the Emerson school, and although it's been months later since I brought up Enid Transit as a tourism revenue source, mentioning that there had darn well better be a city that tourist riders WANT to look at, improvements (albeit limited), have been realized since I brought that up.
And so it has been with my bringing up the matter of the poor retail revenue from the downtown area year after year after year, a situation that Main Street Enid hasn't improved upon year after year after year after...you get the idea...because the City Manager's office initiated (among related things) addressing some principle about parking space being conducive to customer spending downtown. That's where they went catty-wonkers from reality by a study that didn't cover the entire actual downtown commerce area, and took pains to avoid looking at the downtown area where the City owned the most real estate, like in the southeast sector of downtown where the Convention Center looms to overshadow the baseball park, and where Cafe Garcia operates by the City's benevolent Big Brother graces.
The Assistant City Manager made this skewed presentation to a Study Session some time ago, included a map that was engineered to obscure the fact that the study was inadequate...a map I took color-coded liberty with but STILL doesn't show the whole story as yet--but I'm still working on that, and a video to post on YouTube utilizing drive-arounds to compare to the map and the presentation.
So yeah--I know a lot of you have about given up on checking back here for a new post without luck (until now), but this is the reason I haven't made a new entry yet. The project isn't finished yet, and I've got quite a ways to go on it before I can consider it finished. Here's a bit of a preview of the City SNAFU in question (keep in mind that the original was NOT color coded, nor was it ever analyzed by TYPE, as I did with the City map, below:
While I was working on my presentation and analysis, Saturday rendered another development, one that we of Enid have seen, at this point, too many times already:
So you see, in raising the downtown revenue shortcomings even with Main Street Enid blowing wads of cash to throw lavish parties downtown, I've got a serious somebody (somebodies in times past) to back me up on that--SO--by all means, watch this space for further developments on this.
You see, whether I win or lose an election doesn't make as much difference to me as actually making a difference, period--and it's clear that I have made a difference to some people. What I won't do is blow a lot of time where I make no difference to anybody.
Don't get me wrong, though--I don't let contrary people stop me from trying to make a difference. I go in where a difference is needed and, as in the case of the City Commission, I can ride herd on a herd that has other ideas. What I'm talking about is something quite aside from that, though. There comes a point where something is akin to beating one's head against an immovable wall, so the strategy to move the wall doesn't work and a different approach is called for. In all the decades I've roamed this planet, I've been called a lot of things, and a lot of 'em weren't complimentary...but..."masochist" wasn't one of 'em.
Sunday mini-UPDATE: While doing some more work on the graphics portion of the aforementioned video, it occurred to me that I made mention of the risks of hotel over-building both to the Commission (I called it the building of things to accommodate the people who think Enid's a lovely place to visit but they wouldn't want to live here) last year, and via City system email to the City Manager in particular, going into further detail in writing about how that mirrored Albuquerque's dilemma.
Rewind to the first Punched Out Judy I produced, where there was a study session segment devoted to how "man camps" worked in terms of what sorts of accommodations for oil field workers might be arrived at and whereupon I made comment about how the dickens could affairs of Bismarck ND had anything to do with the City of Enid? Well, this downtown hotel quandary is part and parcel of overbuilding hotel accommodations for people who love to visit Enid but wouldn't want to live here. But where does Albuquerque fit in?
As poster boy for what happens when hotel accommodations are overbuilt: Albuquerque's problem is the hotel/motel sector scrambling to keep rooms full and resorting to accommodate traffickers and pimps because that's where the demand for hotel/motel rooms is after the influx of respectable people drop off, and the result of that is climbing law enforcement costs--THAT's what. And that's part and parcel of the message being sent by yet another hotel developer whose bread & butter comes from people who love to visit Enid for the future trollops, but still wouldn't want to live here.
It's an environment which people who do live here want to raise their kids around, as evidenced by the wads of cash they throw at building school buildings while hiring illiterate idiot administrators expected to be the judge of literate teachers they hire when they're not hiring "communications specialists", fine arts "experts" and twirling coaches. There aren't any jobs in Enid in the areas that our schools train the kids in....UNLESS....they already know ahead of time that overbuilding hotel/motel spaces will make Enid the porn film producing capital of the world. For that, Enid kids will be already highly qualified.