I heard this absolutely horrible story on NPR this morning called Progress and Promise For A Town Once In Crisis. The progress the town has made so far is certainly okay on some level (reducing unemployment), but the plan is now to cut down from 22 parks, to just five big parks. The justification? In the words of the mayor Wayne Seybold,
“Years ago you had to have a different park in every neighborhood because people walked,” says Seybold. “But it’s a different world today, and I think that’s what you have to do with the federal government.”
OMG, did he really just say that? People used to walk? So the idea is now that parks are for people a) over the age of 16 who b) own a car? Seybold is much the definition of an elitist.
I should mention that I don’t exactly agree with his ideal that plopping in Starbucks, Kohls and chain restaurants make his town look more attractive, but that’s one of the reasons I don’t live in the midwest anyway (IOW, to each his own).