Friday, January 16, 2015

A sign of the times; what are YOU entitled to?

We couldn’t help but have a pointed reaction to an article in this weeks Forecaster.  It’s about the building at the corner of Pleasant and Maine, and made it to the front page, with the photo shown above.

The article, which you can find here, reveals at least two current socio-politico-economic realities of our governing culture these days.  Especially as revealed in matters of ‘community’ pride and import.

First, the default position on the part of just about everybody is that they are entitled to having someone else satisfy their ‘needs,’ and you can translate that to paying for whatever it is they want.  Brunswick Taxi thought they were entitled to a quarter million dollar grant (forgivable loan) to pay for a new fleet of vehicles for their business.  Brunswick High School students think they are entitled to having others pay for their proms.

And so it is that we find Sylvia Wyler, owner of the building above for 10 years, and operator of two businesses there-in, feeling entitled to having others pay for studies to ‘look into the viability of restoring’ her building.  She’s already received $15,000 from the Brunswick Development Corporation, Brunswick Taxi’s and several others benefactors, for just that purpose.

Apparently, that’s not enough to do the work necessary to determine whether she bought a pig in a poke, or was a diligent buyer.  Shades of the old Times Record building, it seems.  Sylvia is apparently seeking another $15,000 from ‘other people’ to match the initial sum from local ‘other people,’ known to most of us as taxpayers of Brunswick. 

You’d think someone who owns such a building and two operating businesses within it would be able to scrape up that amount in personal funds to advance her personal circumstances, but apparently she doesn’t have that sort of operating capital to ‘invest’ in her very own property.  She doesn’t sound like a very good risk, if you ask us.


So we hope you’ll pardon us for not having much sympathy for her circumstances, and even less in the way of interest in wanting to put our own funds, either directly or indirectly, into her bank account to help her along.  This is just another example of any and all concluding that it’s standard operating procedure to have others subsidize their private business pursuits either though government entities (the town, the state, the feds), or any of the myriad shadow back channels for distributing OPM.  (Hey, Sylvia; why don’t you contact the owners of Brunswick Taxi, and see if they have $15,000 to ‘invest’ in your venture?)

Frankly, Shirley, we’re a bit non-plussed that Forecaster editors chose to locate this ‘pan-handling’ item above the fold on the front page, but that makes our case even more.  Entitlement stories are the order of the day.

The second thing this article made clear to us is that civic rhetoric regarding historic buildings and all the various socio-economic factors associated with them is strictly a function of the agenda of the moment.  Read the article, and you’ll hear Mike Lyne, Sylvia, and the BDA wax eloquently about the value of preserving historic structures, and how important it can be to the town. Community sounds so much more sympathetic, don’t you agree?

Platitudes and unsupported generalities abound.  Apparently, in spite of all the empty business spaces scattered around town, both downtown and elsewhere, doing something with this particular building will fix everything!  It’s magic, magic we say!

Compare the rhetoric here to what transpired in the deliberations surrounding failed attempts to save the old high school, and you’ll quickly see that we are in thrall to a bunch of self-serving chameleons who shamelessly stump for the latest path to economic salvation.  Truth, reality, past experience, and their own incompetence be damned. 


Downeaster anyone? 


By the way, you do know that the word gullible isn’t in the dictionary, right?

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1 comment:

  1. The insanity will never seem to cease. To what end if this request is granted.
    The person bought a property that has been since 70's hampered by lack of parking
    fro customers. This was hard to figure out. Heck in early 60's as a high school student who worked doing janitorial work for Allens' Drug store in building. Yes at 17 I had a key to the drug store ,wash and wax free soda at fountain very Sunday afternoon
    for 4$. I had trouble finding parking then to unload equipment!!!
    Great building totally stupid idea that if approved would be added to a long list of for downtown !!