Free Parking is a space on the Monopoly game board that doesn’t do much for players who want to land on more important spaces.
Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin can probably relate to that analogy after a tumultuous week that gained him national notoriety when he created his own yellow-painted parking space, complete with a large road sign that read “Mayor Parking Only.” It all came in the wake of Franklin receiving a parking ticket from former Police Chief A.J. Rozzi. Google the incident and you’ll find some less than flattering portrayals of the city’s leadership.
For the sake of city officials and the community that is Logansport, there are other spaces on a real Monopoly game board that also could relate to the agenda Franklin could and probably should be leading:
• Electric Company: A Kansas City consultant has recommended replacing the city’s coal-fired boilers with natural gas generating capacity. It’s a move that could work well because gas is environmentally friendly and an underground storage facility operated by the state’s largest gas supplier lies 10 miles away. But if Logansport is going to raise the money to do great things in the 21st century, investing – or finding investors – for green energy windmills would be more cost effective than a $105 million bill the city is facing. In short, it’s cheaper to let the wind blow than to keep buying natural gas every minute of every hour of every day.
• Park Place: With the Cass County Council’s decision to dissolve the county parks and recreation board, the time is right to streamline city and county parks functions. City Parks Administrator Jan Fawley was previously the county parks administrator. Combining both departments could only save money and impress potential grant sources with the community’s ability to take a progressive step to use what limited park funding it has wisely. Despite a Republican monopoly of both city and county government, not to mention the legislative seats and the governorship, it’s not likely. Not all monopoly games produce winners.