My recent post on Kokomo seems to have gotten passed around locally as I got a ton of hits on it over the weekend. It also seems to have gone out to a lot of haters of mayor Greg Goodnight especially.
There are haters everywhere, but in these Rust Belt cities that have seen such challenges with economic and social decline, you would think people would be primed for change.
You’d be wrong about that. Anyone who wants to try to change things is going to get brutally slammed. Here are some comments people left on my article:
Bump outs are costly and dangerous . We here in Kokomo are concerned over what has happened to our beautiful streets ! We have a hard time safely maneuvering down a street without hitting a tire or rim. I can only safely say cars are being damaged !
What a joke, this is not Carmel, Fishers or Brownsburg. Its freaking Kokomo, a blue collar town, not some gentrified liberal utopia. In 10 years it will be known as little Detroit.
This town USA total joke
Those “well designed” projects have created situations that are unsafe for Kokomo’s citizens…something Goodnight will certainly understand on the day he himself needs an ambulance that doesn’t arrive for half an hour because no one can get around all the ridiculous flowers taking over every street that are protected by steel, concrete & giant boulders.
Over at City Journal, someone repeated the rumor that the mayor of Kokomo has secretly moved to Carmel.
I’ve always that that we do need to consider the needs of these communities and their residents and do more for them.
But they also need to take some ownership over their own situations. If the people in a place are completely hostile to any change, they aren’t in any position to complain when time passes them by.
Goodnight isn’t trying to implement some kind of radical and controversial social change. He isn’t a liberal elitist. Kokomo doesn’t have the kinds of self-righteous and obnoxious bicycle advocates that populate bigger cities.
All the city is doing is basic beautification and development, all without much in the way of debt. But apparently that’s eve too much for some.
These communities may not have been in control of the economic forces that hit them. But they are responsible for how they respond to them. Too many people and places want to put their heads in the sand.
People in Kokomo can’t control whether or not Chrysler keeps the plant open. But they can help influence whether or not there will be a next generation of residents for their town, or whether they want to try to turn around urban decay in their older neighborhoods.
The future of this community, and of many others, is going to depend in part on whether they are willing to change and try to adapt to the 21st century. Kokomo is better positioned than most, but there’s no guarantee.