There are still a few days left in 2011, but this will be my final post for this year. I hope to be posting more frequently in 2012 than I have over the past few months, and as presidential politics heat up, I probably will.
But my number one hope as we enter 2012 is for the city of Bessemer. The Marvel City has its problems, and we have a mayor and council now that is working together to solve them.
We have seen economic development in 2011, highlighted by the completion (!) of the DHR building in downtown Bessemer, the groundbreaking for the Norfolk Southern intermodal facility, and the Dollar General distribution center being constructed on Lakeshore Drive.
We have heard economic analysts time and time again speak of the advantages Bessemer has as far as future development goes, including ample undeveloped land, the airport, the hospital, a theme park, developments at Academy Drive and at Tannehill Promenade.
But there is a sign of a symptom in Bessemer that I must be taken care of before our city can progress in perception.
"A sign of a symptom? What does that mean?"
It's a play on words. In my opinion, the fact that this has not been taken care of since it was first brought to the attention of the city, first on this blog in 2009 and soon after in the local newspaper, speaks volumes.
Are we really this "dumb downed" that it doesn't matter?
In case you don't see it, the correct spelling is "Dartmouth," not "Dartmouht."
This misspelling of a street name is a symptom in our city. A symptom of not caring. We hear a lot about people caring, especially as city elections approach. But if they really cared about our city, about the perception of our city, and of ourselves, they would do something about this.
I would hope that the Mayor is embarrassed by this. I would hope that the City Council is embarrassed; Sarah Belcher should be embarrassed (it's in her district); the School Board, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Street and Sanitation Department should as well. I would hope that parents of the children who live near this would be embarrassed. I am embarrassed.
And until this sign is corrected, we have no reason to believe that any of the people listed above (other than me) care about the education of our children, or what others think of our city.
Bessemer can soar, there is no doubt about that. But until we care enough to spell the names correctly on our street signs, or to correct them once the mistake is known, we will limp.
I hope that early in 2012 we will have a corrected street sign. My perception of Bessemer will then improve greatly.