Evansville’s 10 Most Important Things to Get Right in 2011??


City County Observer Seeks Reader Input

As part of our December reflection period, we at the City County Observer are planning a series of articles on the 10 most significant things that we need to get right in 2011 and how those things will impact day to day life for the people of Evansville. We would like our readers to nominate the things that you believe will significantly impact Evansville that are achievable in 2011. We are looking for things that will have lasting impact on Evansville and its surroundings from a political or economic perspective. Here are some off the top of our head examples:

The 2011 Mayoral Election

The Makeup of the new Evansville City Council

The hiring of a new Executive Director for the Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau

The First Street Dilemma: Will the McCurdy and the Riverhouse continue to just sit there?

The Executive Inn Dilemma plays itself out

We would very much appreciate your assistance in identifying the 10 most significant things to get right during 2011. Please include a paragraph or more of why you think your suggestions are worthy of a Top 10 for 2011 goals and objectives. You may enter by leaving a comment to this call for suggestions. You may use either your name or your handle. We will not discriminate as long as the proposals are credible.


  1. 2011 the County Commissioners will enact smokefree workplace laws with no exceptions. This will set the stage for the City Council to be forced to do the same either in 2011 or a different City Council will in 2012.

  2. Let’s hope sanity and individual liberty have a say… over bureaucrats armed with good intentions and statistics of how we should be “forced” to live our lives, in 2011.

    -That truly “smokefree, with no exceptions”, could/should prohibit burning wood in fireplaces for heat.
    -That truly “smokefree, with no exceptions”, could/should also prohibit exploding fireworks on the 4th of July.
    -That truly “smokefree, with no exceptions”, could/should also prevent thrilling jet displays. (Blue Angels)
    -That truly “smokefree, with no exceptions”, could/should also prevent BBQ grilling to watch that event.
    -That truly “smokefree, with no exceptions”, could/should actually regulate every hamburger joint in town out of business.

    That regulating smokers out of Evansville society, without a “plan” for where those people can live, make educated individual adult choices, and pursue happiness…

    Is in an odd way similar to government forcing the demolition of the old Exec, without a plan for what to do with it.

    After all, what if our President decided to come work in Evansville for the day?

    • I think that the first comment by CityGirl was for the purpose of nominating a forthcoming discussion on further restrictions on smoking to be on the list of 10 things to get right in 2011. One thing for sure, if things proceed that way there are hundreds of examples of cities to follow in putting a plan together.

      • I think when you state what should happen – without an election mandate – and how you should FORCE the other residents of this city to bow to your whim… without even making an argument.

        Well, that’s just reinforcing the idea that Evansville is run like serfs slaving for their king…

        Let’s hear her case.

        I think making local policy that would/could criminalize or ban certain members of this society from working here is ridiculous – especially considering the leader of the free world might be excluded.

        • I think any tobacco-prohibitive local ordinance has to have a hearing, right? The proposed code language should be available to the citizens well ahead of that hearing, and full discussion should occur on the proposed regulatory language, including the council accepting ideas for amending the language before the ordinance is passed. This generally happens, and provides citizens the opportunity to influence the regulations.

          For example, one of the current smoking ban codes prevents anyone under the age 18 working in at a restaurant premise that allows smoking, whether or not the employee is restricted to areas inside or outside the building where smoking is not allowed. This prohibits young workers earning gas money, etc. in a traditional manner working parttime for local restaurants, etc. Totally stupid, imo, and should be amended, so long as the minor employee is protected from tobacco smoke.

          However, if the people who oppose the smoke-ban regulations don’t show up for the hearings … shame on them.

          • Last years discussion at City Council was an overflow crowd. It was probably 2 to 1 in favor of being more restrictive. It got pretty heated. It was a good exercise of democracy but the City Council voted against public sentiment and let the current laws stand. 2011 will be an interesting year.

          • At some point, sentiment, shouldn’t be the deciding factor…

            Either you get so restrictive to BAN a substance, period, or you let adults make their own damn minds!

            Because those same feel good arguments for the work restrictions are arguments for a ban. A half measure ordinance is just trying to have your cake and eat it too.

            IMO – You all the sudden make an ordinance prohibiting smokers from WORKING peacefully in a town, you owe them moving expenses.

            • I think you may be reading something into the proposed smokefree workplace laws that I have not seen. Nothing has ever been passed anywhere that says smokers can not work there. The resolutions all say you can’t smoke indoors where you work. The tighter restriction would make bars, restaurants, etc. subject to the same laws that every other business is already subject to. I have never heard of nor would I support a rule that prohibits smokers from holding a job and keeping the peace.

  3. Top 10 is Smoke Free? Really? The solution is more regulations?

    1. I’d agree with a new Executive Director for Convention Bureau.

    2. Carefully monitoring the Executive Inn fiasco to make sure our Decision Makers don’t give away the farm to save the pig.

    3. Movement on the Stadium. Each time the city/county builds or makes capital changes it costs us money. Financing too many projects is a huge burden. If borrowing was a wise financial decision just because interest rates are low, we wouldn’t continue to experience a nationwide housing market collapse. Cheap money is not a good deal if you can’t afford it.

    Let’s first see how our leaders show financial intelligence with getting a positive result with the Executive Inn and McCurdy before we continue to trust their money management.

    For every square foot of land the city/county acquires for its use, that’s less space for private citizens and business to build and own. Revenue comes from citizen and business property taxes. If the city/county creates more projects that require taxpayers income, and at the same time continues to reduce revenue producing private property, where’s the growth in money created to pay for these projects?

    In monopoly if we add more Community Chest Squares and take off Boardwalk, Park Place and Marvin Gardens it sort of ruins the game. If the city/county keeps acquiring money making property and wanting additional revenue, the result is the same.

    The usual explanation for building better and more facilities is that additional revenue is expected to be created from out of town visitors and the local population. We have a limited supply of disposable income. If you spend more money at these new facilities, it results in less money spent on our existing forms of locally owned and operated entertainment venues. Some studies have shown that new facilities do not bring in a continuous supply of revenue that support the local economy. One reason is the local citizens are burdened with taxes needed to pay for all the subsidies required to acquire and maintain these facilities. That’s money taken from our disposable income the local government wants us to spend at the facility.

  4. The Reorganization Committee will turn a plan into the County Commissioners and City Council on January 11, 2011, and the plan will include non-partisan elections for all local offices of the new government.

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