By Scott Tibbs, October 12, 2015
I join the consensus that historic preservation is important, but city government's imperialistic attitude toward historic preservation is condescending to both county government and county voters in addition to showing arrogance.
County government has made a significant effort at historical preservation, especially of the county courthouse. It is important to note that county government dedicated $2.3 million to an "extensive renovation" of the courthouse (see Wikipedia) in 1984, which is $5.27 million in today's dollars according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Furthermore, the courthouse dome was replaced and the building renovated again a few years ago at a cost of $5 million. Clearly, we can trust that county government is sufficiently committed to historic preservation.
But that does not seem to be good enough for some in city government, because they have imperialistic aims to control what is rightly under the authority of county government. It is unfortunate that there is such a lack of trust in and respect for the efforts to preserve the historic county courthouse, to the extent that the city wants to rule over county government. The city should remember that the same voters who vote in city elections also vote in county elections, so they are disrespecting their own voters as well.
It is a good idea for city and county government to collaborate on historic preservation, and the city should offer assistance to the county to see what city government can do to help with historic preservation. Collaboration and cooperation is good, but usurpation of another unit of government's rightful authority is not. The city council and the mayor should reject this imperialistic power grab.