... A Sour Apple Tree

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Location: Huntington, WV, United States

I'm a 37 year-old guy from Huntington, WV.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Compromise and move on...

Once again, Huntington's Third and Fourth Estates have decided to get all worked up over a trivial spat in order to distract attention from demographic and infrastructural meltdown. This time it is a argument between Mayor David Felinton and Marshall University. Marshall wants a couple of old alleys so that they can build on what is now city property. The Marshall Board of Governors want to pay $10,000 for the strips of land, while City Hall wants $97,000.

Don't misunderstand me. I am a big Marshall guy. I think that, with the right growth strategy, we can be on par academically with area universities like WVU and maybe even Ohio University and both the health center and the engineering school (the two projects that would need the alleys) would go a long way to make those once-pipe dreams a nearer reality. This deal, however, would prove to be something of a raw deal for the city and the permanent residents of Huntington.

Felinton is totally in the right to demand a fair market value on these alleys. With a massive budget crunch and little economic relief in site, it would be foolhardy for the city to start dishing out tracts of public land to Marshall and the hospitals without residents getting something to show for it. Huntington should take no less than 40 large for the alleys.

That being said, I hope this gets settled quickly. Huntington should get what it has coming from Marshall, but should also remember that the city needs infrastructure, jobs, and people to survive in the 21st century and The Herd can and will play a big part in any future economic miracle. So to Felinton, get what you can and to the BoG, give what is fair (probably around $45-50K sounds about right to me). Then get on with the business of getting Huntington off of the nation's D-list.

UPDATE: Check out the story chat/comments section of this article from the HD. You can see the split between the Marshallites and the natives and read as the Pro-Felinton and Anti-Felinton factions call each other names.

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