SHORT TAKES: Despite ruling, saving clock tower a tall order


By Daily News • Last Updated 4:13 pm on Monday, September 12, 2011

In the case involving Belding’s proposed historic district and the related moratorium on demolition of the downtown Gibson Building, the ball is back in Belding’s court.
Well, actually, it’s still in 49th Circuit Court Judge Scott P. Hill-Kennedy’s court. Judge Hill-Kennedy upheld Belding’s move to prevent Electrolux from tearing down the building complex that includes the iconic clock tower. The city now has until Nov. 2 to formally establish the district and get the ball rolling.
When these initial skirmishes end, a viable financial plan for the property will undoubtedly be the next order of business. It could be a tall order.
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The concept of a transportation program that would possibly operate in tandem with Greenville’s existing bus system will go before Montcalm County voters on Nov. 8.
As proposed, the system would bring the city and county together in a cooperative effort to bring countywide bus service to all Montcalm citizens. The ballot request for county residents outside of Greenville would be for a 0.3 mill on property tax.
Greenville already funds its own system. The new system would not compete with or replace Greenville’s program. There are issues still to be settled between the Montcalm County Transportation Authority and the city of Greenville, but a mutual agreement would probably include economies of joint operation and oversight.
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It’s almost 14 months before the 2012 election, but the political machinery is already running at full throttle.
Barring any unexpected changes, there will be one main issue, jobs. You’ll hear mostly how the other party destroyed jobs, and/or didn’t create any. But there will be precious few details about how the “our” party will create them.
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One inescapable fact in job losses is largely overlooked.
There are thousands of jobs types that simply no longer exist. In the past two decades we’ve created all kinds of electronic and mechanical laborsaving devices the have limited the need for human intervention. You need only to look at your local supermarket … or gas station … for examples.
There’s an interesting video making its way across the Internet these days showing film of a 1936 Pontiac assembly line. There were lots of workers, but even then — 75 years ago — there was highly automated equipment working in tandem with humans. We should have seen it coming.
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Government can create large infrastructure projects that will make jobs, but if it’s such a good idea, why have we waited so long?
The whole business of putting America back to work will take much more cooperation and compromises than our leaders have shown lately, but the nation needs it badly. It would certainly be a shame if we stumble through the next 14 months with one party trying to trip up the other party’s job initiatives solely for an imagined election advantage … while so many of our people remain unemployed.

Editorial opinions are the consensus of The Daily News editorial board.

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