Trustees Should Help, Not Hinder Downtown Revival

from CATHE ELLSWORTH

Trustees Should Help, Not

Hinder Downtown Revival

To the Editor:

In last week’s newspaper, Cooperstown Village Trustee Richard Sternberg penned a column in which he went to great lengths to point out all the various village projects that need to be completed.  Included on the list such things as the roads, not to mention other infrastructure needs, and the wastewater treatment plant as well as the Doubleday Field upgrade.

When added to this list of needed undertakings, a new, and very expensive, aerial ladder truck for the fire department and the problematic almost-100-year-old water and sewer pipe system, there would seem to be little doubt that the village is facing some rather overwhelming projects ahead.

Therefore, it is no doubt a good thing that, as Sternberg seems to indicate, the powers that be at the village are in no way responsible for the overall business climate in the village.  Never, it would seem, has the village done anything in any way to make running a business in Cooperstown more difficult.  The many rules and regulations by which the businesses must run have never been an issue.  The sign ordinance has always been perfect.  Treatment of the merchants when it comes to sidewalk sales has always been equitable.  And paid parking has never posed a problem.

Even though there seems to have been a decline in the village’s business climate, Sternberg is quick to point out: “There are potential solutions to the problem of empty storefronts on Main Street, but this is primarily an issue for the business community…A person or group could put together a committee to explore options and put together a business plan. This should be spearheaded by a local businessman or woman, preferably someone who’s expressed interest in the problem of declining commerce on Main Street.”

Can it be assumed from this that the Village Board does not feel that any of that decline has been their responsibility?  And while it may indeed be true that the village should not be directly involved in helping the business community, it also should it be in a position of hindering the business community.  And one cannot help but think that by closing with “This project primarily is your job Mr. Small-town Businessman,” Sternberg has chosen to hinder.

 

CATHERINE LAKE ELLSWORTH

Mount Vernon, Ohio


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