Rules of the Road

The purpose of this blog is to share with you my thoughts on issues pertaining to Oil City and Venango County and to foster discussion.

However, that requires some basic rules. Personal attacks, inappropriate language and venom-filled postings will not be tolerated. Comments will be screened, and if necessary edited, before posting.

Disagreement and a variety of opinions are encouraged, but I ask that it always be in a respectful, positive manner. So fire away, but do so cleanly

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It's Your Turn

On Dec. 2 an anonymous commenter said:

“Could you possibly start a new post asking for ideas on how to attract or market O.C. to them? I'm thinking about a post just for that purpose. You could bring it up at a council meeting and tell folks with solid ideas to go to it. They would most likely be interney savvy!!”

So that is what this blog post is going to be all about.

I’d like to hear your ideas about marketing Oil City, attracting businesses and residents and overall improving our town.

And I mean real solid ideas with as many specifics as possible, not the “bring jobs” that we so often hear and that does nothing. We all want that, and so much more. What I want to hear as how we achieve all our hopes and dreams with as many details as possible.

For our downtown business district a similar “no-holds-barred” approach to thinking about crafting a new future is beginning with the Main Street Program. You can become directly involved in that as well, and I urge you to do so.

So, let’s hear what you come up with.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Must Read

The article in this morning's Derrick is a must read.

Please, take the time to read it.

I'll have more to say when I have the time

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

First Year

Well, I’ve completed my first year on Oil City Council.

There’s nothing like on-the-job training.

I spent a lot of years covering municipal government in my former life as a reporter. I thought I was well prepared with a good understanding of the workings, the possibilities, the limitations and the difficulties of local government.

I soon learned you never know what to expect and that it is a lot harder and far more time consuming than I ever imagined.

It is also often quite frustrating. At the same time in can be invigorating and incredibly fulfilling.

High on my list of frustrations, and one I think is shared by everyone on council, is knowing what you would like to do and what would be good for the city and not having the money to do it. This is a somewhat THE all-encompassing problem/frustration.

I will also admit to having become quite frustrated with the critics and naysayers who only offer criticism and no real solutions, or even solid suggestions.

It is not enough to tell me or any other member of council that we need to “bring jobs” to Oil City, or “grow the tax base.” Tell us how you think that can be done, and realistically. Believe me; all of us on council want to hear those ideas.

So what is the flip side, what invigorates me and makes it so fulfilling?

At the top of the list is seeing so many people work so hard to make Oil City a better place and seeing their successes. There are too many to list, but Venice Lewis is certainly one shining example.

Another is truly believing that we are making progress, perhaps only incremental at times, but good things are happening.

We are an interesting lot; varied backgrounds, varied beliefs and heaven knows great differences in personalities. The good Lord also knows we don’t always agree, and some of our disagreements have been pointed. But that has not prevented us from working cooperatively. I think that says a lot for the other people around the table from me.

I wonder how I and we are viewed from the outside. What is my freshman GPA?