Is it the big stall?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 29, 2005

Some refer to it as the &uot;stall.&uot; Suffolk City Council has decided there is no hurry to make it possible for the citizens to elect our mayor. Something about how there hasn’t been enough public interest, the proof, in their minds, being that early evening public meetings on the subject were poorly attended. People had decided they’d rather go home from work and eat supper rather than be at a seven o’clock meeting somewhere. But those who did attend, and I was one of them, were very vocal and said that those who provided &uot;thinking&uot; material&uot; at the meeting had done a professional job of pointing out the positives, negatives, and how to make the election of the mayor possible.

It was suggested at that public meeting, and I thought agreed upon by attending council members, that the material presented should appear in the local papers to provide a wide segment of the population of Suffolk with valuable information. That material has yet to be published, and won’t be now that the stall is in place. But quite often you see publications by the Recreation Department, and the Tourist Bureau. I guess it depends upon what they want us to know.

Once again it is seven persons dictating to 73,000 and deciding what is best for us. The stall allows the council &uot;children&uot; to continue the old game of


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&uot;it’s my turn to be mayor.&uot; And I thought they wanted us to appear more as a sophisticated big city. Suffolk is one of the few cities that doesn’t elect the mayor.

No epidemic yet

So there is a 600 percent increase in syphilis in Suffolk, and if we agree it’s the fault of the President of the United States, he better be seeking a solution to a problem that got out of hand. Six hundred percent boils down to thirty actual cases, hardly an epidemic. Seems to me any average detective could boil it down even further and single out the culprit, or culprits. Or the city could do as the military did during World War II in every city we occupied as we moved across Europe; provide a place where immediate prophylaxis could be administered by medical professionals.

I doubt if we’d see the embarrassingly long lines as in London or Paris. Those boys were in line, note that I did not include myself, because of fearful black and white movies forced upon them by the military, and the fact that there was only painful administration of penicillin to deal with the malady. I hardly think a facility of this nature should be part of the Cultural Center, but it should be central to where we suspect certain activity takes place. An adult bookstore seems logical, but I haven’t seen one downtown. If there is, they have done a marvelous job of secreting it, perhaps causing the epidemic?

Who’s fooling who?

Apparently Florida has given up on their plans to negate Oceana and have our flyboys land their planes permanently down there. And our airport is in the news lately. Curtiss Milteer and others feel it is past time there be residential and commercial development south of town along Carolina Road. It is pretty obvious city hall, or should I say, Steve Herbert, wants to stall that idea as long as possible and in some way is using the possible excuse of dangerous encroachment of our airport as a device to maintain the status quo.

We have two airstrips down there one at thirty degrees from the other. I’ve heard that the FAA has clearly stated that they will not provide anymore funds for that second one and within four or five years it will have to be closed, unless the city comes up with the millions necessary to resurface it. Some feel that second runway will never be needed and eliminating it would allow more space and encourage a reasonable plan for residential and other development along Carolina Road, where the area is now professed to be in a danger zone.

Our economic development force would also love to use the area adjacent to this second runway for an airport industrial park. So who is fooling whom, if we must close the second runway in four or five years anyway due to a lack of federal funds as clearly stated, why can’t the so-called danger zone we need for development be used for intelligent expansion of this part of our city?

A can of worms

Will Council approve another kind of encroachment? A famous local citizen wants to build his &uot;palace&uot; partially on an off-limit buffer zone. Apparently the planning commission is for opening a big can of worms and allowing the rules bent by 10 feet. Johnson, Jones and the mayor have expressed it’s a no-no. Surely Mr. Brown is against the &uot;violation&uot; because he has previously stated we must stick to the rules, as in the Garcia/Jefferson School caper. Or is he willing to &uot;bend&uot; the rules in certain instances? I think a 5500-square-foot home is a bit much and perhaps if he shaved a bathroom and a linen closet the house might fit without extending over &uot;hallowed&uot; ground. It looks like Joe Barlow holds the proposed heart of the home in his hands.

Robert Pocklington is a regular contributor or columns to the Suffolk News-Herald. E-mail him at