April 12, 2011 — The city and the county have gone back to the drawing boards and started looking at multiple ways to get funding for big public works projects that are resonating with the community.
The city of Susanville is looking at Proposition 84 funds to try and build a brand new park and sports complex off Sierra Road, while the county is working on ways to replace the old Roosevelt Pool building with a new pool complex.
City Administrator Robert Porfiri and County Administrative Officer Tom Stone have both said in order for these projects to be successful, the county and the city must get as much community feedback as possible. In the case of the city, it is actually required to hold open meetings to engage the public in order to even submit an application for Prop. 84 funding.
It’s always a good thing when the community at large and those who govern it are made to interact on a more personal level, but both the city and the county could take it a step further.
There was a time when city staff would go out and go door-to-door asking people if they would hook up to natural gas. These days, it might make more sense to see your county supervisors or city councilmembers going from house-to-house asking for input on what you would like to see at a sports park or a geo-thermal heated swimming pool. These are the people we elected to look out for the community’s best interests, so it would make sense to see them out there canvassing the area for direction.
It would certainly endear them more to their community than sitting on a pedestal directing their staff to find solutions for what the people want.
There is solid interest for both the pool and the sports complex, but people would really like to see more action from the decision-makers. The last thing the community wants to see is another Joint Powers Authority meeting about a pool where multiple governing boards discuss several options but don’t pursue any of them.
Both the pool and the sports complex could lead to stimulation for the local economy as well, from more team sports at the schools to soccer tournaments bringing in people from out of the area. To be a councilmember or a county supervisor who is known for getting their hands dirty to create more opportunity in their respective communities seems like the kind of thing that could get you re-elected.
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