Sunday, December 18, 2005

Musings on a former Mayor

I really don't want to defend Mr. Hanna -- like any of us he was right on some things, terribly wrong on others, BUT ...
->He was elected because he dared to say what people were thinking.
->He was not beholden to party bosses -- or the local elite -- or anyone for that matter (except the voters on election day).
->I think he really believed his sign "This Government belongs to the People" -- which is the truth..
->He knew the value of aesthetics: Utica never looked better. The gardens were at their peak. He knew the value of art in the streetscape. A walk through the well manicured parks with beautiful floral displays, a drive down the parkway with its newly lighted monuments -- you knew: "This is a CITY" in the best sense of the word -- the cultural center --- and you wanted to be part of it.

As far as the watering can -- that was art. Whether its good art or bad art is a matter of perspective. BUT IT GAVE PEOPLE SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT other than a tax increase or some other municipal complaint. It could be the subject of debate among people -- something to even make fun of perhaps -- without serious consequences. And getting people talking to each other BUILDS COMMUNITY. And that, my friend, can only be GOOD.

If Paris can have its Lips in a fountain, Chicago have its plastic cows, Utica can have its watering can.

[For CONTEXT and FOLLOWUP COMMENTS see Utica Area Discussions

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