Opinion

Time for PO’s downtown to get it together

I read this column quite often and find after I do, my blood begins to boil slowly from all of the negativity and anger going on. I pretty much already knew of the hardships of downtown Port Orchard, since I had previously struggled in owning a small retail shop right in the center of downtown. Needless to say after one and a half years of going into debt, unbelievable amounts of grief and parking tickets, my partner, sister and self ran while we could. Along with it, dreams were crushed, belief in ourselves was erased for quite a while, a friendship broken, and attitudes made over the whole negative experience.

My sister, (I pray not my ex-partner, too) is still paying financially and emotionally for owning a crumbling business down on Bay Street, and that was more than years ago. As for myself, Bay Street would be the last place I’d go into business, if ever again. The whole experience was terribly discouraging.

I really wonder if Port Orchard really has Port Orchard on its list of priorities. What else does Port Orchard own that someone couldn’t clear out to put to good use for the good of the community?

Enough already, too, on the marquee. If we are going to keep writing laws, why not write a few that make these building owners keep up with the changing times and the city in which they choose to take up building ownership?

I recall a recent trip to Victoria where we toured the town and neighborhoods of this spectacular place. I will never forget being told that how everyone keeps the personal properties so breathtakingly beautiful is that if the property owners don’t take care of their property and the guidelines aren’t being met, the city comes in and takes care of the problem and charges the property owner on their property taxes.

This enforcement seems to work well. I have to say the city was gorgeous. It was too obvious that Victoria cares about Victoria’s future and business. As most of us know, Victoria’s tourism is a huge part of its industry. Wouldn’t just a part of that tourism for Port Orchard be awesome?

There are involved building owners on Bay Street and we thank you. But as I also recall, having leased a store on Bay Street, in my experience, our building owner wasn’t even concerned about the condition of the restroom facilities for store owners, the fact that the toilet was falling through the floor, disgusting and the whole place smelled like mold wasn’t an issue, either. Not to mention the flooding continually going on inside the back side of the store as well as water coming in the front door because the sidewalk angled in.

You can imagine the danger to the customers as well as ourselves. Attempts for the problem to be resolved were numerous and unsuccessful when our approx. one year stay in that store ended. Where are the standards for these building owners?

Is there no shame? How come they continually keep getting away (some of them) with not having to dig into their pockets, but everyone else has to deal with their messes? They are a huge part of the success of the businesses in their buildings and the success of downtown Port Orchards future.

The marquee? It’s ugly, get rid of it, try something new, something fresh. Have a contest, get some ideas flowing from the people who live here, who love here, who pay taxes here, who raise there kids here. Cost? Of course, the most for the buck. Start adding it up.

The building owners don’t want it thrown onto them? Well, boo-hoo. It’s about time someone took charge and stopped allowing them to decide the fate and future of our “Bay Street Too.”

They would only be investing in their own investments, we would all win in the end. Those dedicated and hardworking merchants down there on Bay Street I am sure are exhausted in trying to find ways or having to pay for ways to spruce up those ugly buildings, marquees and sidewalks.

The merchants even get charged each time the marquee is painted, not the building owners. I am sure they will save money just on that alone. Uninvolved building owners spell out loss for their own properties, for the businesses taking residence in their buildings, and in all, for the growth and prosperity of ours and their “could be” beautiful downtown waterfront future.

As for the angry banner resident, “you” wouldn’t happen to be the same “one” who complained about the beautiful Christian music that was sung live one afternoon by a local church on the waterfront, would you? It’s sad that positive encouragement and happiness digs under your skin so deeply, and you want to stop the rest of your neighbors and town from hearing and seeing places to go to get this type of direction in their life. Especially in our lives today where crime, drugs, broken lives and homes are our family members, our friends and neighbors.

So, little sad person, maybe you should show up at one of these celebrations, bring a friend if you have one, and see you’re your complaining about the good and positive influence some groups in our little town of Port Orchard are reaching out with is needed more desperately than you cries to stop it are. Get a life.

And if that little banner waving so proudly and those pretty songs are all people of your likes are taking time out of your dreary little lives to focus such hatred on, then you need to take a good hard look at your life to find out where and what went wrong in it and do something to fix it before you would become dangerous.

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