City Love Letters

Posted on Tuesday, October 11 2005 by Heather Brandon

The Springfield Republican is offering up love letters from its prominent politicians in the form of “viewpoint” columns. They offer a source of optimism during these tough times.

• Mayor Charles Ryan on taking heart, dear citizens!
• City Councilman Timothy Rooke on riverfront development.
• Congressman Richard Neal on re-envisioning Springfield’s story.

It’s wonderful to have positive attention on the potential in Springfield, especially in recent series of artices in the Republican.

On the other hand, coming from politicians, encouraging words themselves can actually ring a little hollow. Why? Because they’re not necessarily founded on fact, experience, numbers, or science. It’s easy to put a spin on almost anything.

From where I’m standing, we’re a little jaded here. Unkept promises have burned us. Upbeat talk, coming from an elected official, can end up sounding like so much rhetoric.

We desperately need ideas, and facts, from neutral, non-political sources. It’s time for professional expertise, such as what consultants or academics in urban design or landscape architecture can offer. These professionals may be able to remind us that the citizen base in the city needs a hearing, too.

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