Thursday, September 14, 2006

A city full of questions

On Wednesday I asked readers to come up with the most important question facing the Charlotte area right now.

I picked the ones I liked best for my column on Friday. (You can find that Friday in the paper or at

But I got more good questions than I had space in the paper. Here are the rest of the questions that came in. They're listed basically in order of when I got the e-mail or phone call. I edited a couple for clarity. In a few cases, people added comments; for the purpose of this post I stuck to the questions.

Here we go.

When will the parents of CMS students take full responsibility for their child's behavior and academic achievement?
-- Frank Leister

When will we realize it is more important what we give to rather than receive from religion, our families, our friends, our jobs, sports... life?
-- Alex Coffin

Why does Charlotte continue promoting and spending taxpayers' money on projects that have failed in other cities?
-- Sara Webb

How can we protect our watershed property so that we'll have good water to drink?
How can we manage our resources better to provide for schools where they are needed?
Is there a way to set up fees for developers so that the schools will be in place when the population explodes?
-- Nancy Blythe

Will Charlotte implement a growth management strategy that paces growth concurrently with the infrastructure components (roads, schools, parks) that are necessary to accommodate our new growth?
Will we preserve the quality of life for our existing residents and for the residents that have not yet moved here?
Do we want to just grow or will we grow in a quality fashion with neighborhoods that will stand the test of time?
What is Charlotte going to do to create great neighborhoods that will stand the test of time unlike most of the cookie-cutter, tree-less, shoe-boxes that are being built by the thousands throughout most of Charlotte?
Other communities are taking a more proactive approach on addressing these issues, isn't it about time that we do the same before it is too late?
-- DanoPlan

Does honesty matter?
-- Fern Shubert

Who are we now?
-- Nancy Holt

How about the complete disregard from the powers that be here (council/school board/commisioners/mayors office/law enforcement) to listen to what the people want, instead bulling through whatever they "think" is best for the city?
-- Terry Roberts

Am I my brother’s keeper? (Genesis 4:9)
Who is my neighbor? (Luke 10:29)
-- The Rev. Nancy Allison
(full disclosure: Nancy is pastor at Holy Covenant United Church of Christ, where my wife and I are members. -- Tommy)

What city do you want for your children? For everyone’s children?
Is having a soul important? If yes, what’s the state of ours?
Should money determine your civic worth? Can we expand the definition of good citizen?
Who can afford to live here? What happens when those who can’t leave?
What is the real value of diversity and education and what are we willing to do to succeed at both?
-- Tressie Cottom

What does it mean to say: "I am a follower of Jesus"?
What does the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution mean in declaring that two of the five purposes in establishing the Constitution are to "establish justice" and "promote the general welfare"?
-- Dave Smith

What five things will we as a community agree to do to ensure that every Mecklenburg child has the same odds we had of living a healthy, well-educated and relatively comfortable life?
-- Sjohnclt

Why do so very many commentators, when interviewing interesting guests, feel their own comments are much more important and constantly interupt and take over the answers?
-- Sandy Howie

Wouldn’t it be great for Charlotte to join the other national cities in USA that have on their own adopted the Kyoto Accord?
-- Sally Knauth

We -- and many other metro areas -- are tied in a Gordian Knot of interrelated challenges to equitable participation in our local economy and society. What specific additional investment of public and private dollars will leverage the most effective early impacts at untying this knot, building real momentum toward stronger participation in the Charlotte economy for those now on the fringes or just left out?
-- Roger Coates

What changes do we in Charlotte need to make now so that we don't become another Atlanta?
-- Connie S.

How do we get parents -- single or married -- rich or poor -- black, white, green or yellow, to take "primary" responsibility for raising and helping educate their children?
-- Jerry Fulmer

Are we in the US, for the most part, not all illegal aliens?
If we were born rich instead of good looking, would we be where we are this morning?
-- Jim Sigmon

How can Charlotte preserve land use without completely restricting development so we can attract new business?
-- Andy Silver

How do we handle immigration, legal or illegal? Should we embrace people of all nations who want to be here and are willing to work hard for low wages, or should we dismiss everyone who is not just like us?
Are we prepared to furnish the infrastructure necessary for our growing population, or are we just going to complain about it instead of putting our money where our mouths are?
How can we control crime, starting with black on black crimes?
-- Shirley Knack

Will it take another revolution to make the "Upper-Class" realize that "Let them eat cake" ultimately will work no better for the United States today than it did for France in the past?
-- Michael Watson

Who is my brother?
-- Lamcg55

Why doesn’t the paper print more moderate viewpoints in the letters to the editor?
-- Jack Berryhill

-- Why don’t we have some toll roads to pay for our very, very much needed expansion of I-485 and I-77?
Terri Coggin

Will voters in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County continue to put people in office who take away our freedom, liberty and property rights?
When will the leaders arise who will "let Charlotte be Charlotte" rather than try to be Atlanta, Portland or Nashville?
When will a newspaper arise with an editorial staff that uses Adam Smith rather than Karl Marx to guide its editorial positions on issues?
-- Bill Reeside

How can Charlotte get huge numbers of indviduals to feel intrinsically bound to one's neighbors -- so that a tidal wave of compassion and optimism and enthusiasm is created -- such that everyone through his or her gifts/passions wants to empower other individuals to live more and more fulfilling, peaceful, productive lives, thereby creating more and more healthy schools and communities?
-- Dorrie Gibson

(This is Tommy again... Got more questions? Care to answer any of the above? Post below.)


Anonymous said...

Charlotte's more like a city full of complainers...... and jesus freaks.

Anonymous said...

And Honda Odysseys!!

Anonymous said...

Jesus FREAKS for sure. Give it a rest please. Just because you are afraid of the nothingness when you die don't push your morality filled delusions on the rest of us.
Oh, by the way, Santa is not real either.

But I think Leprechauns are.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't seem to be a city MANY questions after all.