Majority is happy with improvements


To: Times Gazette

Jeff, I’m not sure why you chose an editorial to air your frustration regarding the Gross Feibel property. All of your conjecture and complaints could have been answered or addressed had you just done a fact-based reporting of it. Since we run into each other once a week you could have cornered me on this suddenly burning issue that is “making you sick,” as you’ve described it.

So here is some info: the property is owned by the cities’ economic development entity, (the CIC). They would love to demolish or develop the site, but it takes money and the CIC is actively working towards that end. Also, the difference between that site and others uptown is that no one was trying to inhabit or occupy the Gross Feibel property as was the case with other problem properties.

Gross Feibel was only just acquired in 2017 — which is a blip of time in terms of municipal timetables, so any suggestion that we’ve been lax in regards to it is unfair. Yes, it’s an eyesore, but it pales to the inattention that past structures have received. During your track days you must have run by the old high school, a building that I and others tried to save a few years back. Where were the editorials then? Or, maybe you ran by one of the cities’ oldest, most historic residences, the Mother Thompson house, which was allowed to rot into the ground. I tried to get the historical society to intervene, without success. Where was the outcry then? Though you state in your editorial that “the purpose here is not to throw stones at the mayor…”, it sure seems as if I am portrayed as the target, if not directly, then indirectly.

Jeff, if you went out on a run today your experience would be quite different than your high school track runs. My administration has built more sidewalks than have been built in the past 30-plus years combined. For the first time ever someone can run the length of this city all the way to Southern State and we’re in the midst of constructing bike/walking paths right now.

I think the vast majority of this city is happy with the improvements made during my time in office, in spite of our timetable on the Gross Feibel property being delayed.

I have but a few months left in office — still plenty of time to pick apart my shortcomings. Where I think your concerns are misplaced is in any coverage of our incoming mayor. His election in less than 90 days has had not one iota of coverage by your paper. No profile, no one has interviewed him as to his plans to move the city forward. In fact, the silence is deafening when it comes to any talk of this new era of leadership. The ambitious agenda that my administration has had, will undoubtedly leave some projects uncompleted. Some, like the Gross Feibel site, will likely carry over into Mr. Harsha’s term. The citizens of Hillsboro will look forward to reading your concerns about Gross Feibel, and the many other planned improvements for our city in the months to come.

Sincerely,

Hillsboro Mayor

Drew Hastings