I wondered what the excavation equipment was doing in front of the Clay Center when I passed by yesterday. This article in the Gazette solved the mystery. They are moving ahead with the first phase of the landscaping plan that will provide a softer look to the large sterile front lawn, and part of that plan is for a bunch of low granite seatwalls that will "give schoolchildren that extra place to sit and eat their lunch."
I don't it takes a rocket scientist to see what is going to happen soon after the project is completed.
Remember Slack Plaza? Remember how Mayor Jones, tired of the rabble sitting around on the low seatwalls there had "loafer rails" installed to make it less comfortable for people to sit on them? Then he had the shade-providing trees cut down to make it less hospitable. Have we forgotten? It was only last year.
I would like to remind us all that the Clay Center is located less than two blocks from three homeless facilities, soon to be four with the addition of the new veteran's shelter. Once the landscaping plan is finished there will be dozens of homeless folks who will want to use the nice shady area as their daytime gathering area. I don't blame them; it looks like it will be a nice place to sit and relax.
But how long will it be before people will complain about the large gathering of homeless people on the corner that will serve as the primary gateway entrance to the city? How long will it be before those school children are denied the use of the seating because of the homeless patrons who claimed it first?
How long will it be before the Clay Center calls up the Mayor to ask him where they can buy loafer rails and chainsaws?
Why are Clay Center leaders so oblivious to issues in our city and out-of-phase with City government? Are they really that "pie-in-the-sky" in their planning processes?
Years ago in the "B.C." cartoon series, B.C. was often shown leaning on a rock that had the word "Answers" scrawled on the front. Other characters would come and ask questions and he would provide a snappy answer. In one cartoon Peter asks B.C "What makes you think you're so smart?", to which B.C. replied, "Your questions." That's kind of how I feel about this blog - "why do I think I am qualified to make criticisms of the Clay Center's and City government decisions?" Well, it's simply because they keep making me feel smart.