A local citizen recently had his letter published in the Florence Reminder & Blade Tribune about how $250,000 could be better spent in a way that benefits Florence over costly legal battles:
It’s time for a change:
In the past, I have been critical of what the town of Florence is doing and how it affects our Historic District. It now appears nothing has changed; the Council is going ahead and throwing away $250,000 to fight the Florence Copper Project. This appears to be a “losing battle” because the regulatory agencies do not share the town’s concern. For once I agree with Tom Rankin, who was reported to have said, let Johnson Utilities and Southwest Value Partners carry the ball. All the regulatory agencies know by now the town of Florence is not in favor of the copper mine (project) and we should leave it at that. Again Rankin is right, the money could be put to better use. How about investing it into Main Street?
My compliments to Brent Billingsley and the town staff for providing a balanced budget, but let’s put that money where it will do some good now. We could be the business-friendly town the Council says we are. We could provide grants to help struggling business to rehabilitate their facades or help with low interest loans to make needed upgrades to their buildings. Instead of forcing doors closed or running businesses out of town, we should be there to help. A person only needs to drive around our streets to see there is a need that goes far beyond Main Street and the Historic District.
Our Town Council needs to make a commitment to rehabilitating the old town of Florence (recently called “the town core,” ugh! what a name) and conserving our surrounding deserts.
Our elected officials need to remember the last time it was thought the town residents were with them, we lost our home rule. Before we go too much further, it might be a good idea to survey the residents as to where they believe this $250,000 should be spent. The Town Council needs to develop an outreach program to deal with the apathy we are currently experiencing.