Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Baseball Therapy

Making decisions on $300,000 in public money that will be pivotal in a $20 million investment into our downtown is stressful. We have an obligation to get it right, to ask questions, to use our best judgement. Public officials like to get thoughtful input - there is so much needless coarseness and incivility out there - most of us enjoy life too much to waste time & energy, just like most normal people.

City Council voted tonight 11-0 to proceed with the development of the old Steamplant, in the heart of our downtown, along our Maumee River. We have several market rate housing projects already downtown that are 85% to 97% occupied and have added vitality, young people, and an optimistic spirit to our city.

After the council meeting I went to the Hens game, sat along the right field line enjoying the warm air, and like I've done before, just soaked it all in. Double plays, a 400 ft. HR that nearly smashed a windshield on Monroe St., chit chat with people strolling past, a quick dart to the Roost for a conversation with Alan and Ben Konop, and a few phone calls related to the Steamplant and the merger of the City-County Economic Development operations. Oh how some people howl about that one. Just like those who howled that the Mud Hens shouldnt come downtown.

For my 7th inning stretch I left the wi-fi enabled ballpark and walked through the Warehouse District to my car. Bassett Nut Building is offering two loft apartments, 1800 sq. feet. A National Historic Register plaque on The Emporium Building. Construction trades people still working at 8:30 over at Bartley. Music and drinks over at The Bronze Boar (on a Tuesday!) Planning on lunch tomorrow at Grumpy's. Peering into upscale second and third story apartments over at 100 S. Huron and mistaking Toledo for Chicago. Now that's optimistic!

Going to Mud Hens games will always remind me that, although change brings fear and loathing, people working together with good intentions can begin things anew - and that it can go right.