As many of us know, attempts by many in Danville to secure funding for a proposal to construct a downtown parking garage have been in the works for some time. As the president of the Heart of Danville put it in his letter to the editor last week, the group has been in negotiations with Congressman Fletcher "for over two years" in order to gain federal funding for this project. Accordingly, I found it somewhat striking when I learned that Fletcher had finally been able to secure over $1.75 million for the construction of the downtown parking garage at such a politically opportune time.
The Sunday Advocate editorial rightly points out that the construction of a downtown parking garage may provide additional opportunity for employment in the future for some people. But the fundamental problem with such a theory has been obscured. Will the jobs created by construction of this garage be the kinds that will be able to employ the thousands of people who have been displaced due to industrial relocation? Will they come soon enough to help people who no longer have a dependable source of income?