Letters to the Editor

No revitalization, short of a casino

Regarding, “Officials meet with Realtors over Pioneer improvements,” (Whidbey News-Times, Oct. 11).

I have been reading about and listening to the “Revitalization of Downtown and Pioneer Way” for almost 40 years. The consulting fees alone that have been spent would probably have allowed the city to operate for a year without any tax base input.

When are city officials going to wake up and realize that downtown Oak Harbor was laid out and built during the horse and buggy days when businesses had to be closely located for customer convenience. Those days are gone as the public has become more mobile with cars and other modes of transportation. The severe parking and store size limitations will always be there no matter how traffic is routed. Selections are limited and prices must be necessarily higher to offset the high rents and taxes.

The only way downtown Oak Harbor would be revitalized is if half were bulldozed and a tribal casino and hotel were built. People would flock here and attendant businesses would spring up. The income and taxes generated to the city would put it continuously in the black. Maybe I’m kidding about the casino but there is nothing much to draw people to shop in downtown Oak Harbor and no revitalization planning or improvements will change it enough to matter. It hasn’t for the past 40 years or so.

Ed Hickey

Oak Harbor

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