04/28/10 — No other choice: Sometimes bargains come along, but the timing is just not right.

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No other choice: Sometimes bargains come along, but the timing is just not right.

It would be nice to have a brand new recreation center in downtown Goldsboro. And it would be even nicer if it cost less than it normally would because of a downturn in the building trades that made the project more affordable.

But even with those two facts acknowledged, the Goldsboro City Council really made the right decision in voting down the proposed recreation center project plan -- at least for now.

Whether we like it or not, residents and businesses in this city are hurting right now. They cannot afford any more bills -- especially not now that the city leaders are forecasting an increase in taxes just to maintain business as usual.

So while the city leadership is to be commended for thinking ahead and trying to bring more interest to the city's downtown area, now is simply not the right time to be taking on another project that is not going to make money -- and would not be able to be paid for without a tax increase.

Mayor Al King has said the project is dead -- and has also said he does not expect to see it reinstated.

And maybe he is right. Maybe this city is never going to want to hear the words "recreation center" again.

But we hope that is not the case. We hope that even though now is simply not the right time to be asking city residents for more money, that the recreation center project will be revamped and rethought -- and perhaps something better will rise from this beginning -- perhaps a better location, perhaps a better design, perhaps a plan that also includes a convention center in another area of town. The possibilities are endless.

Right now, people are worried. They do not want to commit to anything else that might take money out of their pocketbooks, not at a time when they are unsure what some of the federal and state decisions are going to cost them.

Goldsboro City Council members seemed to understand that.

Now that the vote is over there will be hard feelings in some areas -- and some who will see this as a sign that residents do not want progress here.

That would be a mistake.

Goldsboro has a great future ahead -- as long as its leadership continues to dream, pitch -- and punt when it is appropriate. This is one of those times.

Published in Editorials on April 28, 2010 10:29 AM