MONDAY MAIL: Take time to consider the alternatives

April 14, 2013 

On the crest of summer, beneath an oak that blossomed green, it's Monday Mail.

Civics

If there's one thing recent events have taught us, it's that we need more intelligent, responsible, conscientious, self-aware and sane people to get involved in local government.

And you are welcome to get started on that by attending one of Columbus' public hearings on its alternative transportation plan. That's the design of routes other than those traveled by large pickup trucks or sport utility vehicles driven by people talking on cell phones who don't even see the other cars on the road, much less bicyclists and pedestrians.

The 5:30-7 p.m. workshops will be Monday, April 22, at the Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road, and Thursday, April 25, at South Columbus Elementary School, 1964 Torch Hill Road. The format is 5:30-5:45, general comments; 5:45-6, formal presentation; and 6-7, "interactive exercises."

With that notice comes this message principal transportation planner Lynda Temples sent me and reporter Mike Owen, who is off this week:

Good afternoon Tim and Mike,

The Columbus Planning Department will be holding two public meetings regarding the Alternative Transportation Study. This will be the second round of public meetings for the study. …

Thanks,

Lynda.

Dear Lynda:

Thank you.

Now please define "interactive exercises."

Pieces of April

A number of people (five) have commented on an April 1 column reporting that Columbus Council and the Muscogee County School Board were lured into a closed session that through volunteer efforts was extended over the entire Easter weekend -- during which everyone else in local government was able to get their work done without distraction.

Everyone who wasn't working for some other elected official, anyway.

Needless to say, none of that was true. The Sixth Avenue sewer project wasn't finished, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation didn't catch up on all its other work because politicians here quit asking it to investigate each other, and multiple cold-case homicides were not solved in three days. As far as you know.

In regard to that is this email from Jim Jackson, who ends with a smiley-face emoticon to prove he's just joking and there's no need to call in the GBI:

Tim,

Your April Fools column was sort of funny, but if one had all those folks together in one room a 30-bullet magazine wouldn't be large enough for one's protection.

Dear Jim:

No kidding. That's why you really need a gun AND a badge to protect yourself from these nuts.

Tim Chitwood, tchitwood@ledger-enquirer.com, 706-571-8508.

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