‘Connect Savannah’ Takes Notice

jason-renderingAt last, a media outlet in Savannah has the gall to present an alternative to ‘new construction’ using the public purse, that pot of gold coveted by local architects and building contractors.

It was that usual ‘quid pro quo’ dance between your elected officials and the moneyed interests which put in the SPLOST ‘goody bag’ a building project having zero evidence of a need, and the current council has blithely and ever so irresponsibly gone along.

We can at least raise the benefits from zero to something approaching respectability by now taking a productive path; and as well, likely save into the millions of dollars for meeting true civic needs.

Jason Combs has done an excellent job of posing this opportunity in this week’s Connect Savannah.

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HALT THE CONCRETE TRUCKS!

Below are TWO links which will take you directly to pages on this site that are pertinent to this proposal.  The first is the original page composed as early as September 2015 and provided to then candidates for the City Council.

Indeed, no one on the Council can truthfully deny having been offered this idea prior to finishing the design phase of this project.  Alderman Bill Durrence, in particular, was aware of this option in November, 2015.

Political excuses for having ignored this option are now in the offering, ranging from a simple “too late” to ‘doomsday speculation’ on the old sears building’s affordability.  The lack of any engagement on, or even acknowledgment of, the idea for over a year suggests the ‘excuses’ are themselves ‘too late’ to be believable.

The second link is to a summary, image and Council contact page.

Act up now, or live with the new monstrosity in the historic district, and your $20 million wasted.

The Public Theater Alternative: Re-purpose the Old Sears Building

Call to Action Page

-Aldin Lee

Time to Make It Happen

I’ve found that 95% of people who link to this site never look at a single page contained in it.  I can only speculate on why that occurs.

This is not a site to wow you with photos of Savannah; who among you couldn’t live the rest of your life without ever seeing another photograph of the Forsyth Park fountain.  This site is not about what Savannah is today, it is about the Savannah that does not yet exists, but could.

And lest you are thinking, “Oh, yippee, yet another group in Savannah seeking attention, while offering nothing more than a litany of trite aspirations and lofty visions (often via ‘group think’ sessions),” please inhale deeply and exhale slowly . . . believe me, I understand.

Certainly, SA admires the dreamers and anyone who ‘actively’ works for a better quality of life both economically and culturally for their hometown.  But, as in other cities across the country, these initiatives most often are accompanied by only blurred public cost/benefit justifications, few (if any) have fiscally sound underpinnings, and they are pushed with virtually no consideration of, or (at least) perspective on, the opportunity costs.

SA isn’t derived out of a need to bring attention to anyone and it isn’t the product of ‘group think’, but yet it requires ‘group work’ to see it become reality.  And, very important for the naysayers out there, SA is a balance of aspirations and economic/fiscal realities.  Stylish, but practical always.

Within these pages is work that could never be routinely sourced from professional consultants; it is almost priceless.  It is the product of problem solving skills, creative genius,  and a great deal of knowledge attained through reiterative analysis and a lifetime of exposure to a world beyond the ‘walls’ of Savannah, where intelligence is often viewed as a pest to be exterminated; ask Johnny Mercer and Juliette Gordon Low.

Some of these proposals have been vetted by industry professionals and many (if not most) of these spied opportunities, accompanied by their detailed proposals, would be (and indeed have been) described as brilliant.

But, brilliance is not something that can be spied when one’s head is in the sand, a prolific trait in the ‘hostess city’.  Indicative of the local political milieu, one county commissioner admitted to his lack of interest with the comment, “New ideas are not my department!”

For those of you who already think Savannah is all that it can be or all that it should be, or whom are so insecure that you need constant reinforcement that your hometown is superior to all others, you have my sympathy.

For those of you have spent any amount of time wondering why Savannah has for a century now trailed so far behind other ‘sun belt’ cities, in growth and prosperity, you should be focused on the economic development opportunities described within.

Disappointingly, the enormous amount of time SA has spent attempting to stimulate the city (its political, civic and business ‘leadership’) to action could have instead been spent on furthering the economic development work, possibly quadrupling the number of spied opportunities, i.e. promising and vetted industry spurring initiatives and prospective corporate/business relocation targets.

And yet, the goal of economic diversity and growth is not a stand alone pursuit of business interests.  All of the other civic opportunities spied and developed herein came about due to an understanding of the tremendous contribution a city’s quality of life makes toward its economic prosperity, which in turn provides the financial resources for sustaining and even improving on the community’s common spaces, cultural offerings and quality of life services.

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While the earliest pages of SA were crafted with an exuberance and respect for the integrity and abilities of Savannah’s political, business and civic leadership, the latter pages are dressed with frank assessments of the political, social and special-interest milieu which has stifled diverse economic growth in the city for a century or longer.

After years, now, of beseeching a wide variety of players in the city who make a pretense of concerned leadership, SA sees no alternative but to act independently of the public/private institutions which they control.  But, this of course cannot occur without true patriots of the city (of Oglethorpe) standing up and being counted (for a change).

Speak up (take action) now, or never again be a complainer.

Home Away From Home

Here we try to inspire the city’s ‘leaders’, give them great ideas, and even provide detailed road maps for taking Savannah to new heights.   Please make yourself at home, perhaps add a news feed of SA to your home page, and more importantly become apart of this journey by making some noise.  It will take your voice to raise Savannah up.

DO IT!

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