My granddad always says timing is everything. I thought of him last week when a group of citizens presented recommendations for new arts and entertainment facilities in Lubbock.
First, I'd like to recognize the work that chairman Dan Pope and his group of volunteers have done researching Lubbock's needs and wants in this area as requested by Mayor Miller. They spent about four months coming up with a list of facilities that would help move Lubbock forward.
Among the possible projects are a much needed remodel to the Civic Center, a new performing arts center, and a multi-purpose arena to replace the aging coliseum. Now these are big dollar items that would require big decisions by Lubbock taxpayers, but, if done right, the result could increase our quality of life.
Now back to timing. I think it is unfortunate the work of this citizen committee has been overshadowed by the dysfunction of city government right now. The result? Nobody I've heard from wants to hear about arts and entertainment facilities at a time when we have huge water needs, a hiring freeze at city hall, water rates set to skyrocket, and local taxes continuing to rise for the first time in years.
So consider this, it's time our city officials prioritize needs vs. wants. My kids and grandkids should, first and foremost, have a safe city to live in with a full staff of police protection. You can't promise me that with a hiring freeze. And despite the best efforts of our citizen committees, I'd much rather get an update on how we are going to secure our future water needs to Lubbock over new entertainment venues.
The good news is, the voters will have the final say in these new proposed facilities and I think if done right we can have the best of both. I just hope it is at time when our needs are being addressed first.
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