Thursday, April 11, 2013

Giving credit to...the Enquirer

OK, we certainly take shots at the hometown newspaper pretty regularly, and of all its contents, the editorial page is usually not only the lamest, but typically rowing in entirely the wrong direction.
Thus, in our own bit of editorial honestly, when they get something right -- which is as rare as hen's teeth -- we at the COAST blog want to be the first to recognize and applaud that.

Thus, yesterday's editorial welcoming the additional Streetcar project manager, John Deatrick was notable for the Enquirer, and is appreciated.  For, once you wade past the congratulatory pablum, which was laid on pretty thick, they actually and finally start asking some hard questions about the Streetcar project.  A bit of surprising "accountability" and "contrarian analysis" that this town sorely needs.

Some issues the Enquirer highlighted that need to be addressed by City Hall:
• Why hasn’t the administration been more transparent about the price tag for the project, which is at least $20 million more than its original projections?
• What were the original projections based on, and what’s being done to bring the bids more in line with those projections?
• If we hire an executive project manager, do we still need project manager Chris Eilerman? If so, why?
• Why hasn’t the overall plan been communicated better to taxpayers and officials? By buying the actual streetcars without other key components of the project in place, the administration has appeared to be acting haphazardly instead of following a carefully considered plan.
Of course, the reasons for the secretiveness and the wastefulness to date is that Milton Dohoney and Mark Mallory wanted it that way.  It all has been by design.

COAST wants nothing more than to see the City succeed in everything it sets out to do.  But we doubt both that Mr. Deatrick can turn around this Hindenberg-style disaster from playing out in slow-motion before our eyes, or that he can force stylistic changes at City Hall.  The insular and corrupt nature of the gang running the place will not be impacted by the hiring of a single bureaucrat.

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