Source: Sherman Publications

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Joe from the block
A perplexing decision

September 14, 2011

This week's decision by the Lake Orion Village Council to not allow the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and merchants to celebrate the completion of the Streetscape project by closing a few streets to host a brief ribbon-cutting event confirmed my worst fears.

The council's collective decision-making ability is suspect

Furthermore, I cannot understand how they could make such a decision on the eve of the village election. If it was up to most folks, I would bet all of the council members would get broomed, with the exception of Mike Toth and Larry Stumkat, who voted yes to the DDA request.

The word is the DDA did not submit its application to temporarily close the streets the required three weeks in advance. It was actually turned in about 10 days ago. Given the fact the completion date of the construction project has kept everyone guessing for so long, how can you blame the DDA for not getting the paperwork in on time? The DDA got the businesses and Lake Orion Police Department on board in short order what's the problem with the village council? In this case, it seems to make common sense to bend the rules a little for the good of the community.

Somebody said an official public hearing needs to be held in advance of the council approving such street closures. Give me a break. We are not expanding a landfill here. I am sure the public is just as happy to have Streetscape finished and would not mind the ceremony.

I am afraid there may be a more sinI wonder if there is a sinister motive here for the village council's decision. Is this its way of getting back at the DDA for the drawn-out construction that frustrated so many people? If so, it is time to move on. The work is done and the downtown area looks great. This project was way overdue. If it was not for the DDA, this project would have never gotten off the drawing board and we would still be stuck with a downtown in embarrassing need of a facelift.

If you want to further investigate the costs, go for it. But, do not take out your anger on the folks that are trying to promote our businesses today.

The fact is the local business owners have struggled mightily over the past several months. The DDA director and her staff have endured a ton of grief. They should be allowed to celebrate.