The wheels of government move slowly, especially in Midway. I’ve attended city council meetings and have seen mundane projects voted through while important issues just languish.
The council approved spending money on Cay Creek improvements, while the Lyman Hall area has one street light for 98 homes. Councilman Terry Doyle initiated a proposal and has fought to provide street lights to this area since he was elected three years ago, but he has been frustrated by the mayor and others on the city council. The Coastal Electric franchise tax was implemented, yet not one street light has been installed. Why won’t Mayor Clemontine Washington give Lyman Hall residents lights to curtail crime?
In 2010, Doyle spoke up against an agreement to provide fire services for the county. Since then, he has been fighting against approval of this agreement while other council members rubber-stamped the agreement. Even the city attorney indicated that the agreement seemed to favor the county. The county now has agreed to look at the changes Doyle sent them because the original agreement appears inequitable. Maybe if the council held out for more money from the county, our firefighters could get paid. By the way, the county wants to take over the Midway fire station and charge residents $100 more in property taxes. Will Washington stand up to the county and turn them down, or give in to the county again?
The council found time to spend money for an ad in a Liberty County magazine, yet it can’t find the time to update the city’s ordinances, which were scheduled for updates in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Additionally, I would like to know what happened to the city’s charter.
The county wants Midway to supply water services to a part of Tradeport East, yet the city still hasn’t collected money due from the county regarding a wastewater dispute, even though Midway’s council in 2009 approved the city attorney’s initiation of mediation with the Liberty County Development Authority regarding payments for the sewer charges. The mayor still is wasting time negotiating with a brick wall when she should be taking action.
In August, I introduced to the council a proposal to pass an ordinance that would require all retention/detention ponds near retail-store parking lots to be fenced, but that has fallen on deaf ears. I guess there will have to be a drowning before something is done.
The police department and court have been without air conditioning for four months because one councilman doesn’t seem to understand the bidding process, and he approved a contractor who was not the lowest bidder. Guess what? The contractor defaulted before a contract was even signed.
The building that houses the Midway Police Department is falling down. When the problem was discussed in February 2010, the liaison to the department said he would take care of it “next week.” For nearly three years, “Mr. Next Week” did nothing. Finally, the city is moving forward on the repairs. I hope the police officers have helmets to wear until the job is finished.
Midway’s water system is old and falling apart, which is pretty evident given the smelly water we get now and then. Yet the city is contemplating raising our rates. Shouldn’t the city supply good, clean water before raising our rates?
Doyle and Councilwoman Melice Gerace are the only ones who stand up for Midway residents. Wake up, Midway, and attend the monthly council meetings.
Calderone is a conservative who lives in Midway and has written for trade publications in various fields.