Mayor Curry again walks the town content with the labor of tearing it down

Once again Mayor Curry and his team have taken a wrecking ball to a city landmark.

The biggest wrecking ball was the demolition of The Landing after the Mayor revealed (but didn’t mean to) — “we have a plan to take back The Landing.” He took it back as he said he would and brought out his wrecking ball and destroyed the orange roofed city landmark instead of working to make it better. He also lied to us and said we would know his plans before the demolition. The Landing has appeared in hundreds of thousands of pictures of Jacksonville and even had it’s own sign on I95. But alas – it was easier to negotiate taking it back to destroy it instead of working with the owners and others to make it better.

Then we woke up early one morning, turned on the news, and shockingly discovered the “confederate” monument in the middle of downtown was dismantled in the middle of the night. It was whisked away to a “safe place” and has never been seen again.

And now this week, we hear the historic train on display at the Prime Osborn Center will be dismantled and moved to another city where it will be taken care of because our city can’t or won’t take care of it. Jacksonville is the home to CSX — a railroad company – and is the home to hundreds of people who worked in the railroad industry. Surely someone or some organization could have taken this project on and saved this landmark. Jacksonville has always been a part of the great railroad adventure and now the “paper weight” as Brian Hughes who is a part of the Mayor’s Administration called it — will be leaving town.

As I read about his latest wrecking ball decision, I searched for the answers to a man who loves to tear down versus build up. There are many psychological papers written about this behavior. It’s too deep to go into and I’m not sure this administration “goes deep” with their thinking. Instead, I think Edgar Guest, a journalist and the “poet of the people” nailed it in a poem he wrote:

“I watched them tearing a building down,
A gang of men in a busy town.
With a ho-heave-ho and a lusty yell,
They swung a beam, and the side wall fell.
I asked the foreman: “Are these skilled–
And the men you’d hire if you had to build?”
He gave me a laugh and said: “No, indeed!
Just common labor is all I need.
I can wreck in a day or two
What builders have taken a year to do.”
And I thought to myself as I went my way,
Which of these roles have I tried to play?
Am I a builder who works with care
Measuring life by a rule and square?
Am I shaping my deeds to a well made Plan,
Patiently doing the best I can?
Or am I a wrecker, who walks the town
Content with the labor of tearing down?”

So that’s the answer. Mayor Curry is a wrecker who walks the town content with the labor of tearing it down.

And the question to ponder by all Jacksonville resident is this: Will we search out and vote for the next Mayor who is a builder, who cares and who will shape his deeds with a well made plan in 2023?

Eye hopes so. We can’t take much more of this wrecking ball administration. And someone please lock the Mayor’s door and keep him inside until 2023? You never know what he might tear down between now and then!

Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives

Billie Tucker Volpe

Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives.


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