Letter from a citizen:

When did the paradigm shift that took societies from individual communities that grew and were developed based on interests, needs and demand of its hometown citizens to self-contained communes built according to a universal governmental standard that housed and accommodated residents based on limited means and  restricted availability of resources?


Such is the transition we see taking place across the spectrum of American cities and metropolitan landscapes.


In fact, the transition we witness from one city, one town and one community to the next, has become so apparent and so universally interchangeable that prestigious awards have begun to be issued to cities, towns and communities for best plan, best design, and best designer or planner as trophies of achieving a universal objective. It begs the question of how American individuality lost its appeal to Americans, how Americans have lost sight of their heritage and what belongs to them and how they have been forced into a one-plan-fits-all template that literally makes the only difference between one town or city from the next is the number of the population on the universal sign at the gateway to the city.


Universal zoning and building codes borne from international standards have become the dominant force in American planning and continue to sweep across the American horizon without an echo of resistance from most cities and towns.


Local governments and bureaucrats  have lost sight of what’s really important to the hometown citizen, what’s really meaningful to the hometown neighbor, and what’s really necessary or not  to the hometown itself.  In its stead they have provided us with a regulated plan that offers the citizen and the neighbor a universal choice of what someone else has determined is necessary for our life, lifestyle, and what qualities of life we may choose from and enjoy.


The hometown citizen, at the same time. has been voluntarily distracted by state and self-created obstacles, mesmerized by disingenuous promises of perpetual and sustainable bliss, and in an out of sight, out of mind state of mind, forfeited their right to choose for themselves for a limited choice government provides them without question or reservation.


When I was a kid there were no awards for best comprehensive plan, no awards for best community planner, no awards for best design or best planner and buildings weren’t built according to any certified standards created by some organization foreign to everyone.  I rode my bicycle safely down the same street the cars traveled on without a designated path.  The cars never ran over me.  I took the bus if I wanted, I walked on the sidewalk because when I wanted, and the only thing that was green was everyone’s grass.  It was a great city, I grew up fine and the city progressed and became a greater city.


And, imagine, all of this without a master plan!


Somewhere along the Primrose Lane we have lost sight of what’s important, what’s not, and what grew Bloomington from a little grove of trees to the place that gave to the citizens everything they needed.


Before we forget our history, maybe its time we look at where we came from, and how, before we look any further into the future based on where someone else’s plan determines we need to go.


We are Bloomington. The only award there is for that is the happiness and enjoyment each one of us experience because we are Bloomington and that we can remain Bloomington and not someone else’s vision.


That is First Prize.
Burt Schooley

3 thoughts on “Letter from a citizen:

  1. These left-wing Progressives have been pushing their “It Takes a Village” concept for several years now. If we follow their path of Socialism, collectivism and Communism then Freedom will be a thing of the past. As Americans our Founding fathers gave US a near perfect Constitutional Republic to have individual rights and be protected by OUR Constitution from any over-reaching tyrannical government. If Obama wins and succeeds with his fundamental transformation of America then America will loose as we will loose our Freedoms! It reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode called, The Obsolete Man;


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