Monday, July 03, 2006

For Better Or Worse

The post below got me thinking: Sure, I miss LincolnFest but overall is Springfield a better place than it was 20 or 30 years ago, or a worse place?

I started to compile a list in my head of what’s better and what’s worse about the city and I was surprised at how heavily the “Better” list outweighed the “Worse” list. In fact, I was hard pressed to come up with more than a few things that are worse.

I know, I know, Springfield circa 1983 is a pretty low baseline from which to begin, but still things have improved you have to admit. Or do you?

My “Worse” list really only has two things on it: Fewer manufacturing jobs and the loss of the 183rd Fighter Wing (and the latter hasn’t even happened yet).

On the “Better” side is the much, much improved downtown, including the Abe Lincoln Museum and a livelier nightlife. The radio stations are better (again we are working from a really low baseline from 20+ years ago), the newspaper (SJ-R) is better and the cable system is much improved.

We have more restaurants than ever before even if a greater percentage of them are chains. And speaking of restaurants, 20 years ago I would have never dreamed we would be blessed with a smoking ban in eateries.

City government is better, having been forced to move to an aldermanic system from the kooky ‘at-large’ city council of yesteryear. The school district is arguably better too (remeber in the early 1970's when the district's high schools were on split shifts?).

So what do you think? What’s better and what’s worse about the city compared to the compared to some point in the past?

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