06/22/12 — Building doubts: Ignoring questions about museum won't make them go away

View Archive

Building doubts: Ignoring questions about museum won't make them go away

When you say stuff over and over again, it is discouraging, to say the least.

But when it is important, you have to push forward, even if there are some who might endeavor to try to keep the critics quiet.

And that is the case when it comes to the city of Goldsboro Air Force museum proposal.

First off, something smells bad.

If you are spending some $160,000 on discovering the community's feelings on the issue, shouldn't you wait to hear what those residents have to say BEFORE you come up with a master plan on the implementation, let alone begin arguing over a name?

It seems logical -- if you really have any interest in truly getting a gauge on the community support for the project.

And if it is such a critical endeavor, why in the world wouldn't you make doggone sure that the county commissioners were 100 percent square behind it -- especially in light of the fact that they have made it clear that they feel entirely the opposite?

And, come to think of it, if you were thinking of creating a museum in this community to honor the contribution of the men and women who have come through Wayne County at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, why in the world would you ignore the other units, the historic achievements of generations of airmen and the 916th Air Refueling Wing. Yes, the 4th Fighter Wing is a beloved member of this community, but so, too, are the thousands of airmen who have helped fuel the planes they fly and transported our wounded heroes home. The story would not be complete without them. A museum that is focused on learning and interactive information ought to tell the whole story, don't you think?

And, if you truly understand that money is tight right now, and that residents expect their leaders to think before they spend, why in the world would you not get that this is not the year to have a bunch of irons in the fire?

There are other concerns, too.

If you want the citizenry to focus on the fact that downtown development is the key to the city's future, why would you not concentrate on that for now, and get it done right?

Most people should be keenly aware of the cost of maintaining that building while we decide what to do next -- and that any pursuit of a museum will take funds the city does not already have on hand. Wouldn't continued investment in making the downtown development a reality be smarter? Investing in that effort, and making it a priority, might be just the ticket for the city's new beginning.

And what about the parks? The city's new recreation director wants to do more with what we have and to use more of them as a draw for visitors. Sounds like a more solid proposal and a more cost-effective one.

Dividing attention is never a good idea, especially at so critical a crossroad.

So, we are going to keep asking questions, no matter how many times they frown, complain or otherwise wish that the newspaper would simply keep quiet.

We respect those who are volunteering their time to this project -- and we like the idea of an Air Force museum in the future.

But there are still doubts and concerns that have not been adequately addressed.

And we are going to keep asking our public officials to address them.

That is simply how it works.

Published in Editorials on June 22, 2012 11:48 AM