Specifics, not vague platitudes, breed enthusiasm

Nov 18, 2020 at 07:00 am by Mary-RB

Imagine, if you will, Donald Trump, sitting in the Oval Office with several of his advisors — perhaps some of his children or other family members.

His ever-present comb-over becomes a tad mussed and his small hands flail about the air as he tries to explain today’s “huge” news.

About that time, a Secret Service agent escorts a visitor into the room through a side door.

But, this isn’t a typical Oval Office guest, this guy has a plan to improve the economy on a nationwide scale.

“Why didn’t I think of that,” Trump grumbles internally. “There must be a way to take credit.”

“Don’t tell anybody about this meeting,” he snarles at Donald Jr., this is my plan. Everybody will love me now.”

There’s just one hitch to this visitor’s plan: The president must relinquish control — invest, if you will — to the White House and the Capitol Building before the scheme can be revealed.

But, it’s a good plan, magnificient.

He’s all in.

Heck, there’s no risk to the Trump family, his name is already in the toilet with half of the nation, and these United States can risk a couple of buildings to make sure the economy booms.

So, he agrees and signs on the dotted line with one of the hundreds of presidential pens that are scattered around the Oval. As that’s happening, he, in typicall fashion, decides to be really vague, investing “federally-owned property.”

Trump is more than a little pleased with himself — he will singlehandedly  spur the economy to levels unseen in  modern society.

He picks up the phone to call Mitch McConnell, making sure that Mitch is aware of his responsibility to get the Senate on board, no matter what.

That done, Trump goes public, making sure everybody understands that this is basically a done deal.

Still, no specifics on the plan or the person who devised it.

Well, that’s basically where we are in Plymouth today.

In a vague motion Thursday evening, November 12, Plymouth Town Council (the Senate in the above drama) went along with Mayor Shawn Hawkins’ recommendation to pledge “town-owned” property to a company that was formed in August of this year.

Questions go unanswered.

Specifics are sadly absent, and we’re assured that the town will hold a public hearing and, at the same time, approve a final development agreement.

I don’t know about you, but I’m more than a little curious about the specifics, not only about the plan, but also about the person that we’re giving the town’s property to.

You can read more about my questions  with the story on Page 1, but if anybody thinks I’m going to get on board with the plan, I first have to know what the plan is — specifically — and be willing to answer questions. Dodging a media outlet’s queries is a sure way to breed more skepticism, not enthusiasm.

I’m all for a revitalized downtown Plymouth.

Shortly after I moved here then Roper Mayor Bunny Sanders talked about Washington County’s need for an “attractor,” something big enough to get Outer Banks visitors to come here, at least for the day. I wholeheartedly agreed nearly 16 years ago and still do.

I understand it will take lots of money  and several years to accomplish.

But, residents deserve answers. We deserve to know the man who will own taxpayers’ property, to peruse his resume and prior successes.

If the Disney Corporation or even Donald Trump were coming to town to invest $60 to $100 million, we’d probably all jump at the chance. You wouldn’t be able to contain the excitement.

But, those examples have track records of success, and we just don’t know Water Street Development LLC’s founder.

As Tom Harrison wrote in his letter, Washington County certainly has missed opportunities over the years. On the other hand, we’ve also been taken advantage of more than once.

I think a little caution could be the better part of valor.


Mary Wayt, The Beacon’s publisher and editor, may be reached by telephone (252) 793-2123, or via e-mail at editor@roanokebeacon.com.