Here I thought the Schulte Road sports park was a done deal. (The proof, sadly, exists here. I swear, I never wrote that.) Silly me.
Tuesday, the City Council proved me wrong, when Evelyn Tolbert joined Irene Sundberg and Steve Abercrombie in rejecting the construction contract for the park. It surprised me. But it probably shouldn't have.
Tolbert was the obvious swing vote coming into Tuesday's meeting, and she swung on the side of the folks who said, "Who cares about the pipelines — this park just doesn't make sense." It was a common-sense vote from a politician who prides herself on common sense.
But the troublesome fact remains that in this battle, there were no real winners.
The push to put the sports fields at Schulte Road was misguided from the start. It was a crappy location for a bunch of children to play at, as noted (in nicer terms) by many at Tuesday's council meeting. But the campaign steamrolled ahead. Supporters poured themselves into it, and others poured themselves into its opposition. And for several years, nothing got accomplished except posturing and bickering.
Now, the council has decided what many did a long time ago — that the Schule Road site didn't fit the needs of the community. Not a bad decision, but such a "victory" should leave us feeling hollow.
After all that energy, time and money spent, after all the animostiy and emnity generated, we're at Square One when it comes to building places for young athletes to play.
Hopefully, we've learned from this mess and will make a better go of it the next time around. And there's no time to waste in getting started.