Last week the Grenada City Council was scheduled to meet with the Grenada Downtown Innovation District to discuss plans to revitalize Grenada’s deteriorating downtown.
Four of the city’s seven councilmen – Fredrieck “Pete” Wilson, Lewis Johnson, The Rev. Ernest Hargrove and Joshua Hughes — did not show up.
This is particularly disappointing, as earlier this month the council discussed the hiring of a firm to help develop retail for the city. They appeared to want to make a sincere effort to make progress. The four no-show councilmen call into question how much this council is dedicated to the growth of our community.
The Downtown Innovation District has worked hard to revive downtown, including the investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The District, under the tutelage of development expert and investor Deborah Bailey and others, has purchased decaying buildings and turned them into structures that contribute to the tax base, prosperity and security of the area.
It is indeed rare that a city has an asset as valuable as the dedicated members of the Grenada Downtown Innovation District. It is a disgrace that city leaders would not even show up to listen to their plans.
Veteran City Hall watchers speculate that some council members really do not want the downtown area to progress because in the last election, the downtown ward’s current City Councilman (Hargrove) won by only four votes. It appears that members of the council are afraid that a revived and more desirable downtown area may contribute to a change in the voting outcome of the ward, and the current clique could lose its strangle hold on Grenada’s future.
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