Lenny, many kudos for your analysis of that senseless proposal! One comment I’d like to add (that actually came from my mother) is there is nothing “historic” about the plans for downtown. The council doesn’t want to “revive” an historic feel, they want to “invent” their concept of “historic”. For many years, we have had people in city government that have wanted to make Weatherford one of the Texas cities that has successfully brought business back to their square (think Granbury, Denton, McKinney).
However, the elephant in the room (or on the square, as it were) is those cities just mentioned do NOT have a US highway running through the middle of town. And, unless our city is willing to build an overhead over downtown (think Wichita Falls and US 281), we will always have that US highway! The fact that US 80/180 was the primary route from the west coast to the east coast should make it an historic property itself (think Route 66). Before the city fathers of the mid-1960’s permanently disfigured the square by cutting it into quadrants, maybe they should have considered embracing our place on that great thoroughfare.
The real problem with that bond was our elected officials wanting millions of dollars for a project that has not been approved by TxDOT. They have not explained explicitly what and how they were going to spend the money. Maybe they were looking forward to a slush fund to use however they wanted until approval? More lipstick on the Heritage Park/ First Monday pig (another multi-million project dreamed up without reality checks)? How much would have to be spent to buy hundreds of homesteads along Bridge and Alamo streets? How would they negotiate such purchases and how would they justify putting citizens out of their homes? How can they plan to impact the property of First Baptist when the church proudly displays an historic marker? I think we voters could neither approve the ridiculous amount of money nor the illogical plan of an inner loop. We were presented one way streets entering the square to create an ambiance existing only in someone’s dreams. Several years ago, we suffered the indignity of stone walls barricading the square’s quadrants and cutesy reproduction lighting. Historic? Really?