Almost daily, the media teases stories about how to lose weight and get into shape and the answer is always the same: diet and exercise.
Most folks don’t want to hear that, though. We like the idea of a magic solution, but in the end, most of life’s answers are pretty easy. It’s the doing it that’s tough. That’s why it’s kind of disheartening to see all the attention yet another downtown study is getting (cover story, June 26 Riverhead News-Review: “Downtown parking & traffic & housing, oh my!”). We know what the answers are in this town; the hard part has been doing it.
A few weeks ago, my running mates, Neil Krupnick, Laura Jens Smith and I, held a press conference about cleaning up downtown. Most folks cheered us on but some wags said, “Gee, you didn’t say anything new.” That’s because there’s nothing new to say. We are long past the point of devising solutions; it’s time to implement them.
How many ways can we concoct to clean up downtown? How many ways can you say, “We need small shops?” I only know of one way to enforce the law. How many years can we stare at a few decaying buildings owned by one recalcitrant landlord that block our progress?
You want to have families comfortable being downtown? Clean up the streets. You want to bring new investors? Get out there and recruit them. Another study? Studies don’t get things done, people do.
What great action ever came because of a study? There was no “Marshall Study” before the Marshall Plan. Jack Kennedy said, “We choose to go to the moon” and so we did. Columbus packed for a journey; he didn’t hire a consultant.
The town’s broke? We appoint a committee. EPCAL’s languished for a generation? We hire a consultant. Downtown needs fixing? We commission a study. Forgive me, but I’m tired of talk and lawyer language. Sometimes the answers are clear, obvious and right before your eyes.
I’m running for supervisor to get things done.