Move City Hall to North Suffolk?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 1, 2004

Not right away, not during state or local budget problems. We are in the &uot;weak&uot; phase of government when delegates and senators lack the nerve to make financial decisions that might displease a constituent. They all told you how fearless they were when running for the office, how they’d always do the right thing for the people. Yeah. But I digress. The question really is, &uot;When do we create a town center for Suffolk?&uot; Our offices for directing city business are already scattered around town with but an unpretentious hub on Market Street. Even the School Board resides prominently in a tall building. Agreed, Liverman’s empire is no less than Herbert’s, requiring a much larger budget that increases yearly faster than the city. But our city hall lacks luster, not befitting a city with such obvious strength and explosive power. One day Steve Herbert will look north.

Others already have. Mr. Suffolk – Andy Damiani – did his monthly show, &uot;Round Table Talk,&uot; up where there once were only green fields and trees. Bob Aston, C.O., graciously allowed us in the auspicious headquarters of TowneBank, the operations center. If only city hall could look like that, the very air exuded quality. It’s the kind of place where you want to steal a house coffee cup for your prestige china closet at home. Andy’s guest was the shaker and mover Robert T. Williams who implies, &uot;You ain’t seen nothing yet.&uot;

It’s worth your time to visit north Suffolk, a different world indeed. The Department of Transportation should be running tour buses up there, at least every six months if one wants to keep up with the expansion of business architecture and residential development. He refers to it all as &uot;Mixed Use.&uot; Small communities each with its convenient business section, designed for easy living and keeping traffic off the highways. The theater complex is blossoming and quickly becoming a topnotch entertainment center with ample parking. The &uot;big stores&uot; are sneaking in to capitalize on what is already there and that which is coming. The wonder of it all makes you wonder where the line will eventually be drawn between two cities, Suffolk, and North Suffolk, unless Williams and others decide on a better title for this ever growing municipality. Up there is where the tax collection is growing by leaps and bounds: that’s where Town Center should be, will be. We should be nailing down a piece of property and I suspect the scouts are out sniffing around right now.

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Is it a small world? There was a letter to the editor March 23 by a gentleman who compared me to the President, he calls him Dubya, and so he must know him personally. He calls me Bob so he must know me personally and that gives me the right to call him Ira. Ira Steingold, there can’t be two of them. He said that Dubya and I must have too much time on our hands and Dubya should return to Texas and turn things over to the – get this – high intelligence and good common sense of Senator Kerry and Governor Warner. It was 19 years ago that I had an office in the Crestar Bank Building in Norfolk. I can’t remember if I was the ninth or eleventh floor but across the hall was a law firm. In gold letters on the door was the name of a crotchety old lawyer named Ira Steingold. Do you suppose it could be the same man? If so, &uot;Hi there, Ira, long time no see.&uot;

I have to disagree with Ira on at least one point. He said that everyone agrees the attacks on the United States, 9/11, were solely the result of our economic way of life which encourages easy transportation between cities for business reasons.&uot; How’s that again?

Robert Pocklington is a resident of Suffolk and a regular News-Herald columnist. He can be contacted via e-mail: