/* left_sidebar content begin */ /* left_sidebar content end */

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blow Up City Hall

Well, that outta get the attention of Homeland Security. When this gets processed by the NSA computers, whistles are going to go off, flack jackets are going to go on and the black SUVs are going to roll. I can hear them heading down I95 as I type. It'll be just me and a lame dog against the CIA's finest. I think I have a fighting chance, but to save the taxpayer a lot of dough, let me explain that I mean to harm no one and break no law. I simply propose that we blow up City Hall, legally and professionally. Let me explain.

I plan on speaking mostly from inference and ignorance. I have lived here long enough to remember the marble shell that used to clad City Hall. I don't know how long that lasted, but shortly after I arrived the marble began to crack and rain down on unsuspecting pedestrians and City Hall plutocrats alike. This quickly became unpopular and so the scaffolding went up and the rock came down. $16 million dollars later City Hall had a veneer of stainless steel. While I questioned the demise of the marble, I had to admit the stainless steel was kind of snazzy and if you looked at in the early morning light it was magnificent. I maintained that view until a few years later I had some opportunity to venture beyond the 2nd floor Council chambers and see what a dismal working environment it made, narrow hallways, cinder block walls and and cream colored paint ruled the day. Office workers are subject to no air conditioning, too much, no heat or too much heat. As a result you have the efficient system of running the air while a space heater keeps you from freezing. Ah those lazy gov't bureaucrats have the worst of both worlds and while some may take satisfaction with that, there's no reason to take out our frustrations on the little guy and I use the word "lazy" for effect not accuracy. So we have a run down, cruddy building with aluminum siding, so what?. Well it gets worse. During our unusually cold and snowy winter last year, City Hall threw some new material at us, literally. Ice formed on it's shiny aluminum siding and under the rays of the winter sun, shed big chunks of ice which floated lazily through the air before smashing onto sidewalks, scaring the bejeezus out of passing civilians. So back go engineers to retrofit the siding with heating elements to keep ice from forming. This isn't the only small disaster to beset City Hall, but enough should finally be enough. Let's blow the damn thing up, nicely and legally, but let's blow it up. Where should the workers go? Let's see, we could send the School Board out to 3600 Broad, that should make Larry, the former Mayor happy and this time the Board might just agree. At least their lives won't be taken by random objects falling off the building, but what about the rest of the government? Maybe we can get the state to give us back old city hall across the street. This is a truly magnificent building which looks somewhat like a Gothic cathedral. It represents a time when Richmond was finding it's feet and taking its place again as a great city. A lot has gone wrong between then and now, but what better place to start than in Richmond's past. Maybe we'd get it right this time.

Finally a suggestion for the old (new) city hall site. Turn it into a modest structure with underground parking, retail on the first floor and office space upstairs. Maybe then we'd have a place to park when we go down to pay our , ahem, parking tickets.

Facebook StumbleUpon Digg Technorati Delicious Google Bookmark Yahoo


** **