Tuesday, April 11, 2006

It Makes Interesting Television

The Geneva council meeting has been televised a lot lately. It is very interesting to watch the meeting in this way. The camera men show interesting angles and the mics pick up things that can't be heard from the audience. Of particular interest this time are the comments of Mr. Cosentino. He must have been wearing a microphone like the player of the night during football season.
He repeatedly says "I can't stand it" when other people are talking. Someone should tell the other people to tune in and hear it for themselves. As a member of the audience, the color commentary gives an interesting perspective on the issues. While it seems that he doesn't want to demolish that gas station on South Main Street, he certainly doesn't like having it pointed out the way in which the new bidders are being treated much differently from the old bidders that pulled out.
But it's as clear as day to anyone watching that there is a difference, and you have to wonder why.
Geneva taxpayers are on the hook for the clean up of that building one way or the other. It seems like they should be knocking themselves out trying to get private investors interested instead of turning them away and ignoring them.
The tape and warning signs on that gas station have certainly made it look ugly. But even at its worst, it looks a lot better than what we'd all have to look at if it gets torn down. People complain about seeing the backs of buildings along 5/20. That doesn't even compare to what will be exposed on Main Street.
The color commentary provided by one councilor on television gives an insight into the city's decision-making on this issue: They bored with the issue. Even though they've ignored the building for years, now that they're thinking about it, they want a conclusion yesterday. If they can't come up a way to save it within this month, they just want it torn down as soon as possible. I hate to be cliche, but "haste makes waste" and wasting the taxpayer's money by tearing down a building just because you're sick of hearing about it seems rather unappetizing.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

City to Erect Granite Phallus in Park

The city council is considering a proposal to erect a six foot tall phallus, carved from solid granite, in Pulteney Park. It will be placed in front of the existing World War I monument which is, ironically enough, a statue of a partially-clad woman.

The monument, donated by a group calling itself "Geneva's Patriarchs" is not without its opponents. A large number of citizens spoke out at the city council meeting, asking leaders not to accept the gift. Their concerns were drowned out, however, by a man who read random passages from the municipal code while others were speaking. When asked to please be respectful of others' opinions, the man shouted, "Do not deny the phallus!" and began to chant "Respect the rights of man."

Council adjourned to a closed door session to deliberate before returning to the floor for a public vote. The measure passed 6-3. One councilor pointed out that the statue was distasteful. She was taunted by a colleague who said, "she's just one of those preservationists. They don't want anything new and exciting to happen in the city. What do they want? For us to turn away this gift?"

So, despite the protests, the statue will be dedicated next week. The ceremony will include comments from community leaders and will be finished off with the launching of confetti from the base of the statue. "It's a great day for the city of Geneva" said one of the group's spokesmen.