Carl Sandberg is someone I would have loved to have had a Peroni with. Well maybe not a Peroni, it depends who was buying. Sandberg didn't know what a casino was but he knew what kind of craziness it is causing on so very many fronts. He said...
"I don't know where I am going, but I know I am on my way."
And so Springfield goes. As we try to figure out how much money we can spend because the city could, if the voters bless, have a few extra dollars--- have we thought about the people who we are already dealing with?
Have you listened to any political official in Springfield? I know painful sometimes but we can only work with what we have.
Ask them about anything, they will tell you the following:
1- "A Springfield casino would mean millions to the city's coffers."
2- "When we develop the 31 Elm Street property (that's the building next to the Old First Church) we will see a rejuvenated city."
3- "The Union Station Project will mean the world to the city of Springfield."
All of that may or may not be true. Right now they are just words.
However, in amongst the progress - or the talk of progress we see the victims. People still without jobs. People whose dreams are being darkened as the days goes by. And, businesses leaving or being told to leave. The casino has sapped all the life and the talk about progress out of the city.
Such was the case with Fenton's the legendary sporting good store that just about every baseball team in the area used. Now another notable. JT's. With the casino coming, the owners thought it best that they go in another direction. That is business. Keith Macarowski the owner of JT's is well aware of how business is conducted. His last day was this past Saturday and he said it quite nicely " Springfield is an interesting city with a lot of dynamics".
All this makes us wonder if in the roller derby game that everyone is playing to get in line for the millions of dollars that a casino could be generating at one end of Main Street, are we ignoring what happens at the other end? Will Main Street become the great divide?
I don't have a care as to whether a casino is housed here. All I know is that the city has to be ready. I don't know whether it is or not. Judge whether we are or not based not on the number of words spoken about the casino, but rather the number and quality of words spoken about the rest of the city.