Almighty God did not bestow on me the power to act as King of the World, but I did get a brain that enables me to presume the impossible … and, thus, offer a suggestion on how to conduct the people’s business.
Princeton, Texas, at this moment does not have a city manager. The City Council must look for someone to replace Derek Borg, who this past week resigned his office. He’s out. The council named Leisa Gronemeier as interim manager.
What should the new manager list as his or her top priority? Here goes: He or she should place the development of a “downtown Princeton” at or near the top of the municipal agenda.
I put the terms “downtown Princeton” in quotation marks for a reason. It’s because Princeton does not have a downtown district worthy of the name. The city built a municipal government office complex. Where did it go? Into what passes for a downtown area?
No. It was erected on the eastern edge of the city on the north side of US 380. I like the complex. It is a fine piece of construction. However, it suggests to me that the city hasn’t bought into the notion that a vibrant downtown district really matters.
It damn sure should!
I get that the city manager doesn’t set policy; that task belongs to the elected council. The manager, though, does have a bully pulpit from which he can lobby council members and the mayor to plot a certain course.
In my humble view, the next city manager has it within his or her power and authority to try to move the council to put downtown redevelopment at the top of the council’s agenda.
Practically every single American city — from its most bustling metros to the smallest of communities — has at least one thing in common as they reap the benefits of economic revival.
That would be a downtown district that bustles with life.