Show interest in needs of long-time residents, too

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Editor, the News-Herald:

I remember reading about the concerns of many citizens about the building of the Godwin Courts Complex in downtown Suffolk. Their concerns were ignored by council and city leaders. I noted with interest that during the celebration of the opening of the new Hilton Garden Inn and marina last week, that parking was inadequate, therefore shuttle busing was furnished. Persons joining in the fun and celebration were allowed to park at the old Obici Hospital grounds and shuttled to the Hotel area.

Today, I read that we are again concerned with inadequate parking in downtown area. In order for persons who wish to eat in one of the new eateries, they must park — if they can find a space —

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a great distance from the restaurant.

I have made one trip to downtown Suffolk to the real estate office, and noticed few if any vacant parking spaces behind the courts building complex. There were a lot of persons walking around the courts buildings, most of who appeared to be awaiting court action to be completed. This in itself made me very uncomfortable with being in this area of Suffolk.

Now, we are again being told that a parking garage must be constructed to accommodate downtown. It appears to me that parking should have been number one on the agenda, in lieu of the Suffolk High School cultural center, because, here again, we will experience inadequate parking to accommodate a large gathering for an outstanding performance in the cultural center.

Citizens of Suffolk, when are we going to begin thinking of the proper sequence of things we would like to see happen in this city? Yes, our roads and streets will need to be maintained. This is not even being done adequately now. Why do we want more people coming into our city when we cannot even accommodate the taxpaying citizens which we now have?

Those of us who have been living and caring for our own for more years than I want to think about, are now beginning to feel that all the work and care we have done in the past is no longer good enough for the younger generation. This &uot;now generation&uot; is making it difficult for us older persons to keep abreast of paying taxes. We need a tax break.

My suggestion to city leaders is to put a premium on the developers and builders, and then when and if someone wants to move into this city, let the developer and builder pass it on to the persons or companies who wish to locate in this city.

It isn’t as though they don’t have the means, for if they do not have the means to pay for their desires, then we don’t need them in Suffolk. We need more training schools for youngsters who have not achieved academically. They cannot find jobs because they have no training, and they cannot pad their resume in order to move into another high paying job in another city.

Here’s to the city leaders who have foresight. Let the others beware of the upcoming elections. We need thinkers, and not so many riding on the coattail of the city manager.

Mary Grace Garner-Atkins