Let's focus on the east side of Gainesville first

Published: Saturday, January 22, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 21, 2005 at 10:54 p.m.
I knew it was coming the minute the County Commission changed course to develop SW 24th Avenue into a four-lane road. I knew the small, community-minded folks would be up in arms.
We can't have any more development on the west side. We have to start redeveloping the east side of town. We have been talking about developing east Gainesville for more than 10 years, long before the issue of SW 24th Avenue came up.
And that's all it continues to be: a lot of talk and no action. No action on how to address the issues of crime and poverty that made east Gainesville a wasteland to start with. There can be no redevelopment there until those two issues have been addressed.
In the meantime, these same folks want to continue to cater to students by building a two-lane road to foster residential development. Just what we need. More apartments, condos, and houses to look at.
What is being done to foster the economic and commercial development that is badly needed in this community?
Why can't we do more to attract major industries here that would provide good employment opportunities?
Oh, that's right. We can't have that because of anti-growth, anti-business, and anti-competitive attitudes.
When it comes to the point that we can't even have a Wal-Mart Supercenter because of those same attitudes, that should tell you how hostile we are to growth.
I guess we expect more people to move here to just enjoy the scenery and then force these same people to commute a considerable distance to have a good job. Then these same people can't figure out why our taxes are as high as they are, and why we have low employment and high poverty rates.
Jason Smith, Gainesville

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