Saturday, October 2, 2010

VOTE! VC Mon: Sidewalks, Affordable Housing, 2011 Goals, Comprehensive Plan

Dear People: I am so happy for the cool weather and the rain. I actually love a cold rainy fall day--although I'm kicking myself a little for not being more productive today; I was supposed to grade all day. Didn't. Ah well, I guess that's what Sundays are for.

But I did look through the Council packet (which I've attached the electronic version of) as I was downtown this afternoon, sans computer. Here's the agenda:

1. ANNOUNCEMENTS Greene County Combined Health District will make an announcement urging us to support the upcoming Levy, Issue 5.

Speaking of which: I want to urge you all to vote. You can still register as of this Monday (10/4), and you can start voting absentee as of last week, so get out and vote. I'll send you my choices, but basically I have to tell you I'm feeling more yellow-dog Democrat than ever this fall, perhaps grimly so--the behavior of the Republican party is simply not responsible government by any stretch of the imagination at this moment: it's demagoguery and we cannot afford it: they want to give still more useless tax breaks to the wealthiest of US citizens, who are richer than ever before, and they want to pay for it by cutting education. You may not be feeling "thrilled" or "enthusiastic" but you need to exercise this right.

I am enthusiastic, by the way, about Maryellen O'Shaunessy who is running for Secretary of State.
I have two words for you: Ken Blackwell. Remember him and the fouled up election of 2004? The Republicans are running a young man who is a perpetual candidate with no experience; Maryellen O'Shaunessy has long experience in municipal government and small business doing work that has well prepared her for this job. I heard her speak, and I was impressed. Support Maryellen!


ORDINANCE 2nd Reading and Public Hearing:
Amending, very slightly, the economic sustainability committee ordinance.


Mark has prepared a really good report about sidewalk repair, especially focused on how much it would likely cost if we were to decide to simply take on the costs of repair and replacement of sidewalks as a community, rather than having property owners in charge of this process--which does, actually, itself cost the village some considerable staff time and energy to try to enforce, and is, at this point, haphazard at best.

Over the course of wrestling with this for the past three years, I actually have come to believe that it's time for the Village, which aspires to being a walkable and bikeable town, that welcomes people of differing abilities, to take on this cost and treat it much as we do our streets, alleys, and the bike trail, which we pay to maintain. We are at a place in our street-repair plans that we are no longer needing to spend as much money doing complete street replacements, so I plan to support a plan to budget $50,000/year, which is a fraction of what we've annually spent on streets in the past several years, to begin repairing and replacing the sidewalks in town. (I would support reimbursement to property owners who have, at village behest, replaced faulty sidewalks in the past year, upon their provision of reasonable receipts for their costs.)

I understand the arguments on the other side of this issue, and I believe I have carefully considered them. I am open, of course, to hearing arguments on the other side of the issue.


Affordable Housing Initiative:
Our visioning process revealed that affordable housing was the top concern of those who participated. Judith and I propose to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with Home, Inc., to develop approximately one acre of land on Cemetary Street for affordable housing units.

2011 Council Goals: 1, 2, 3: We're going to look at our old goals and plans from 2010, as well as the Visioning Results, and try to determine what we hope to accomplish for next year. Overarching goals 1, 2, 3 were:
  • Deepen decision-making processes with active citizen participation and effective representative governance
  • Be an excellent employer and provider of services within a responsible fiscal framework
  • Be a welcoming community of opportunity for people of diverse races, ages, sexual orientations, cultures, and incomes.
Comprehensive Plan: At long last, the revisions and edits we made to the Comprehensive Plan last year, before the loss of our Council Clerk Deborah Benning's untimely death, have been completed. Before she died, Deborah had begun work on the final edits, which have now been completed by Village Manager Mark Cundiff and our new Clerk, Judy Kintner. Thanks go to both of them for their efforts.

5. Manager's Report: Mark will be reporting on the completion of the Bryan Center's roof repairs, the most recent works on the design of the CBE (the center for business and educaiton, where Antioch University Midwest is located), work to improve the drainage on the Ellis Park parking lot, and some water and sewer planning studies to help us think about how to best move forward to keep up our aging systems.


A Sunset of the City

by Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks

Kathleen Eileen

Already I am no longer looked at with lechery or love.
My daughters and sons have put me away with marbles and dolls,
Are gone from the house.
My husband and lovers are pleasant or somewhat polite
And night is night.

It is a real chill out,
The genuine thing.
I am not deceived, I do not think it is still summer
Because sun stays and birds continue to sing.

It is summer-gone that I see, it is summer-gone.
The sweet flowers indrying and dying down,
The grasses forgetting their blaze and consenting to brown.

It is a real chill out. The fall crisp comes.
I am aware there is winter to heed.
There is no warm house
That is fitted with my need.
I am cold in this cold house this house
Whose washed echoes are tremulous down lost halls.
I am a woman, and dusty, standing among new affairs.
I am a woman who hurries through her prayers.

Tin intimations of a quiet core to be my
Desert and my dear relief
Come: there shall be such islanding from grief,
And small communion with the master shore.
Twang they. And I incline this ear to tin,
Consult a dual dilemma. Whether to dry
In humming pallor or to leap and die.

Somebody muffed it? Somebody wanted to joke.

Lori Askeland (lori.askeland AT gmail....)
Yellow Springs Village Council
1640 Spillan Road // Yellow Springs OH 45387 (updated regularly with council news)

* TO UNSUBSCRIBE: If you wish to cease receiving regular Council updates from me, just send me a quick email; I won't be offended! *

"You may be certain that the world is heading for destruction, but it's a good thing, a moral thing, to behave as though there's still hope. Hope is as contagious as despair: your hope, or show of hope, is a gift you can give to your neighbour, and may even help to prevent or delay the destruction of his world,"- Primo Levi, 1985

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