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I recently engaged in conversation with two local neighbors, a long-standing local business owner and a former elected official who offered their opinions on my support for a ‘return’ to investments in transforming our city’s core into a walkable, bike-able, densely populated urban center.
Scotts on the Rocks Politica Podcast
No. XXIV. March 2, 2021
Note to Boomers: Forced (“Unforced”) Government Planning Comes to Gardner – It’s Good (Part I)
The dilapidated and about-to-fall-down industrial/commercial building at 177 West St. will ultimately end up with the City Council voting to appropriate the money for its demolition.
But, it’s good. Just as with every crisis, it’s merely an opportunity waiting to be exploited.
Spending Taxpayer money on 177 West Street is just forced government planning – the only real kind of planning.
For Boomers, “forced” in 2021 means “unforced.” So, it’s good.
The City will end up with another empty lot to plan about, and who can’t use more empty lots? It’s good.
It can only add to the development already long-ongoing in this City, and, as always with government planning, there can be no downside.
Yes, the city planners cut all of West St. out of the City’s official Urban Renewal Plan. That’s good, though. It’s called government planning. It’s on purpose. Everything is – it’s called “p-l-a-n-n-i-n-g” for a reason. Boomers, try to keep up.
So, because 177 West St. got cut out of the Urban Renewal Plan there will be no State Grants to pay for this forced (unforced) project. It’s good.
Many say, “we already have vacant lots all over the place where buildings used to be.” The answer is, “And?”
Of course we have empty lots – including in Downtown. This is progress; it’s all on purpose. P-l-a-n-n-i-n-g.
You can see this progress with your own eyes, and it’s not virtual. It’s real. In fact, let’s get with the post-modern program, and capitalize stuff. “Progress.” P-r-o-g-r-e-s-s. Boomers, it’s not tricky (see, “forced,” above).
The upper case is another effective, utilitarian 21st century innovation, to go with all the others like “misinformation” (Boomers, that means “I disagree with that”) and “social credit points” (Boomers, that means “I’m better than you”). The upper case imparts merit on an otherwise meritless notion (or person). Boomers, when you see the upper case, just think: “this is wicked impressive, hey.”
Prior to this post-modern merit-bestowed-by-symbol, we had “government” and “planning” – things that did not deserve any merit unless they, well, actually accomplished something. Hello? That’s like actually playing baseball instead of playing Baseball Stars 2 on PlayStation 4. Please.
Now, we don’t have government planning, we have Government Planning. See the merit?
Gardner Progress can be seen most especially if you look at our two most Major Plans: The Gardner Urban Renewal Project (known as the Rear Main Street or Downtown Urban Renewal Plan), and The Mill Street Corridor Urban Renewal Plan.
Both of these Major Plans (“Major” – not unlike the “Major Award” that Ralphie’s father won in A Christmas Story) in Gardner have literally thrust Gardner at high speed into the 21st century (and we are only 1/5 into the century).
The Rear Main St. Urban Renewal Plan ideas started in 2008. That’s only thirteen years ago. The actual Plan itself was accepted by the State in 2011. So, as you see, it’s just a baby – of course it’s still crawling. There are three Phases to the Plan. The baby only reached its Phase I end date a mere 4 years ago. That’s, like, only Yesterday.
Phase I, a splendid example of what visionary Government Planning can do. We are well into Phase II now (2018-2023), and you can see Progress with your own eyes – forget the 21st century (Boomers will still be living then for crikessakes), 22nd Century here we come!
Progress in Rear Main Street is alive, as we speak. If you are an extremely fit person (or a pro cyclist), see for yourself. If you can make it the entire distance of the new bike path, you’ll have survived a living experience of the opus magnum of the Government Planning back there. All along the bike path are living examples of the massive Development (Progress) back there. And, it’s only been 13 years!
Same thing with our newest Development baby – the Mill Street Urban Renewal Plan. Drive down Mill St. – there’s a terrific and beautiful solar business out there right on nature’s own Ramsdell’s Pond. For idealists, you can imagine sci-fi genius Ray Bradbury meeting transcendental genius Henry Thoreau under the humming solar panels, flicking away glyphosate-eradicated tumbleweeds watching for wood drakes on the pond – no traffic, no activity, no humans – just the peace of wild things (read Wendell Berry’s poems).
It’s only been about 10 years for the Mill St. Plan. When you drive through there, keep in mind that the Progress is there, and it’s just a baby – it’s real (it’s a Government Plan, after all). New neighborhoods within walking distance of retail and shops, the creation of new life and activity and recreation, and the creation of countless new jobs, and a revitalized, innovative walking/recreational bridge to the City’s Shopping Mecca (Timpany Plaza) – just read the Plan if you don’t believe me. Boomers, we’re just getting “stahted, hey.”
So, 177 West Street falling on our lap, pardon the pun, is a good thing. With 177 West St., our Community Development & Planning Dept. can call 177 West St. “its own,” and can take all the credit for another brilliant idea of Government Planning.
The recent 525 Parker Street project, on the other hand, was, gasp . . . someone else’s idea – unblessed by the Gardner Community Development & Planning Government Visionaries (spearheaded by the same guru, Director Trevor Beauregard, under the form of a city board called “The Planning Board” – big “P,” big “B”).
We can see why the Planning Board unanimously shot down and killed the 525 Parker Street redevelopment plan – how can the Planning Board be expected to plan when it’s someone else’s idea? Duh.
Who needs someone coming in from Outside the monolithic and homogenous Community Development and Planning of the Government with their own ideas? “Hold my beer, that’s not ‘Planning.’”
Part II tomorrow – 525 Parker Street, The Nerve of Some People!
We Have More Below
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