More ideas to capitalize on recent national accolades for our area
Basking in the light of the October edition of National Geographic, and having been deemed one of the prettiest towns in the country, maybe the Chamber of Commerce is thinking, "How can we make even more use of this, strike while the iron is hot?"
My daughter and I often brainstorm this topic. I bet other local families and couples do the same. So why not have a contest for the best suggestion? The prize could be something of Del Norte's personality.
So, could we mine the talent and creativity of citizens and come up with a prize-winning idea (like "best-kept secret") that will take traffic toward our beautiful park and beaches?
Could we plant something enticing in our business district's empty windows, displays like arts, crafts, etc., to make a drive or walking trail that lures folks to stop, park and explore? To spend time and stay a day or overnight? Our display owners could provide contact info for possible patrons.
I've noticed freeways often go through a city's business district; there is Interstate 5 and the 605 the 405. We could have our own 101 business route and give it a sign or a banner, showing there is more to the city than motels, fast food restaurants and grocery stores, subtly telling drivers, "There is adventure up the street. (Eventually bringing back businesses, maybe?)
Maybe this could be a yearly event, either local, or posted on about.com, a site for contests. That might attract tourists, too. Think about it. (And, citizens, local contests are the easiest to win, since there are fewer contestants.)
Mary T. Mills
Does anybody pay attention to the Planning Commission?
Events at the latest City Council meeting have left many of us at City Hall wondering: Does anybody pay attention to the Planning Commission?
Two projects that were discussed at the Oct. 19 City Council meeting brought out relatively large crowds with varying viewpoints. But both of these items were also discussed at previous Planning Commission meetings with only one or two people coming out to speak. Why is that?
The Planning Commission is where most of the city's development decisions are made. Such things as use permits and variances for new construction and businesses are heard by the Planning Commission at its monthly meetings. These items do not go to the City Council unless the Planning Commission decision is appealed or there is a change to city ordinances involved with the project.
So generally, if the public does not attend the Planning Commission meetings to support or object to a project, there are no further opportunities to comment. The proposed veterans monument is a good example. The location and design of the monument was discussed at multiple Planning Commission meetings. The public hearing for the project was held in September. A notice of this public hearing was posted in The Triplicate and mailed to surrounding property owners. The Planning Commission agenda was posted on the city's Web site almost one week prior to the meeting. Yet only one person attended that meeting to speak against the project, as opposed to the dozens who went to the City Council meeting.
Due to the lack of an audience, it was assumed that the public had no significant objection to the project. It was not until after the Planning Commission's approval that the city staff started hearing from the public, mostly in the form of letters to the editor of this newspaper.
If everyone who spoke out against the monument at the Oct. 19 City Council meeting had come to the Planning Commission, their comments would have been heard earlier in the process, allowing for more valuable input to the Planning Commission.
The city encourages all residents to participate in the Planning Commission meetings. In fact, the city is currently recruiting to fill two vacancies on the Planning Commission. If you are a city resident, this is a great opportunity for you to get involved in our community.
Talking and texting on your cell phone while driving is illegal
Oct. 24 marked the one-year anniversary of the death of Ronald Lee Rudisill, who was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Highway 101 in Smith River.
I would like to take this time to kindly remind everyone that talking and texting on your cell phone while driving is illegal! Please obey these laws and respect the other drivers that you share the roadways with, and maybe, just maybe, we can avoid another accident from occurring like the one that killed the man I called "Uncle."