Letters to the Editor: Jan. 20, 2014

djournal-letters-editorWater luxuries fall behind street work

Healthy discussion should begin with proper premises. It would be nice were there to be prioritization that recognized the primacy of the essential functions of city government, and those do not begin with expensive water parks.

Once roads have been adequately provided for, public safety addressed sufficiently, water and sewer infrastructure established and proper long-range planning done for future needs in that regard, and trash collection and disposal provided for, then and only then should there be moneys given to desirable luxuries like splash pads.

A cursory glance is all that is required to know that the city has failed for some time with regard to road maintenance. The Major Thoroughfare Program has been a sustained success. Maintenance of our other streets, however, has been neglected, and that neglect is a discredit to the decision-makers who have failed to adequately grasp the priorities they have been entrusted to discern and discharge.

Parks and Recreation is a municipal amenity, one which should not be at the forefront of the discussion. Let’s take care of the essentials like our streets so we don’t kill our kids on the way to and from the lush playgrounds to which we devote so much time and attention. After the essentials are covered, amenities can be funded to the extent that the public is willing to support with taxes. It seems many have voted with their feet in that regard.

By the way, has anyone mentioned the library among our priorities? Last I looked, success and happiness in life were more a function of the intellectual development of our kids than were their times in the 440 relay or their scores on pikes and jackknifes.

Don Riley, M.D.

Tupelo