To the editor:
Needless to say after the City Council’s vote to disenfranchise 13,000 Mobile Countians I found myself on the wrong side of history once again. I was all for annexation and sent emails to the Council urging it to not only open the door to this annexation proposal but to combine the city and the county a la Dade County, Florida, Indianapolis and many other City/County jurisdictions. Having lived a long time in St. Louis I had seen the consequences of walling off a city. St. Louis froze its borders in 1876. Today there is the City of St. Louis and the County of St. Louis, the latter containing 93 incorporated municipalities, each its own little fiefdom with all that entails. Today St. Louis City begs for consolidation but the surrounding bergs remain in “don’t call us, we’ll call you” mode. I was all “TEAR DOWN THIS WALL, COUNCILMAN RICHARDSON, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!!”
But then on further reflection I came ’round to the idea that perhaps the “nays” had the better of the argument. Maybe Mobile shouldn’t try to be bigger. Maybe our future lies in getting smaller. Perhaps the city has gotten too big, too expensive and too unwieldy to govern properly. Yes!! We don’t need annexation, we need divestation. Like Scotland devolving from the UK, Mobile needs to devolve from its current borders. I say shrink Mobile into its earlier borders. Mobile should properly be what lies inside the Hank Aaron Loop. Beauregard, Broad, Canal and the river should define the metes and bounds of the city of Mobile. Think of the money Mobile would save in policing, fire protection and infrastructure maintenance. Shucking off Midtown, Down the Bay, Crichton and all the other little money pit subdivisions, not to mention such things as Ladd Stadium and the now vacant Hank Aaron Stadium would do wonders for Mobile’s financial health. And no doubt there would be less litter at Mobile’s feet. Downtown interests do a good job of keeping things tidy. More than anyone can say for the rest of Litterville, USA. Maybe we could even begin to enforce the traffic laws. Yes, it would be wonderful to advertise our little village of Mobile: clean, historic, friendly, financially secure Mobile. A City that Works.
Our City Council was right in building a wall, they just began doing it too far west.
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