I read recently where Steve Jobs was questioned once as to whether he thought about the past. Jobs responded, “I don’t have anything against the past. I just like to think about the future.”

As election day approaches, I hope the Gardiner City Council begins to think about the future. Frankly, we’ve not seen eye-to-eye. Our differences certainly aren’t personal, but diametrically philosophic.

For example, Gardiner’s “brand.” Something about “Where history and progress meet.” C’mon — really?

And the perpetual myth that rehabbing Johnson Hall is somehow affordable. Enough already. We should develop programming that culturally enriches lives and provides creative opportunities for all citizens. Jobs would’ve approved.

I’d encourage new (and future) councilors to recognize and embrace our waterfront’s unlimited potential. Paying more attention to essentials — such as electrical and plumbing — apparently overlooked in the initial investment where the benefactors cheerfully doled out the bulwark of funds to a parasitic “design team” that I’ll wager Jobs would have fired.

Fortunately, Gardiner emerged with a foundation for an incomparable waterfront. But it’s incumbent upon our elected leaders to comprehend the critical importance of connecting that Rail Trail to something imaginative, affordable and useful. In my opinion, this would preclude archaic historical plaques and the innocuous exposition of yesteryear as a viable strategy for substantive economic development. Nonsense.

Maine recognizes recreational opportunities and tourism as the life’s blood of its economy. Our deep water, beaucoup open space and expansive boardwalk is where the future sleeps. Let’s awaken to reality so that future generations might enjoy the fruits of a spectacular, intercommunity boating/paddling/recreational mecca. It’s well within reach — and reason.

I believe in Gardiner’s potential. But we must endeavor to seek and elect visionary, formidable and invigorated leadership that’s inclined to “think different.”

Buddy Doyle


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