Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Editorial: ADOT should do the right thing

When I read on Monday that ADOT had destroyed the memorial obelisk that stood at Prescott's entrance for 55 years without so much as a by-your-leave, I was aghast. It then struck me that for over a year I'd been under the impression that the agency moved it out of the way of construction at the intersection and would put it back when that was complete. How did I miss the news that it wound up as rubble in a dump truck at 5am, skulking out of town? With a little research it appears I missed it because the Courier didn't tell anyone.

In every article over the past year, primarily about rededicating the park, the paper wrote about the obelisk, but failed to mention its actual condition, i.e. pulverized. You'd think that would be news at some point.

It takes the veteran's groups agitating for a replacement to wake the unnamed Courier editor up on this act of official vandalism by ADOT.

Anyone who's had a home or business located near an ADOT project is familiar with the agency's habit of wrecking first and not apologizing after. Ask the merchants of Tlaquepaque, for instance. But to discover that this attitude extends to historic monuments and public property ought to raise an eyebrow for everyone.

I'm not going to say that the obelisk was especially beautiful, but it was old, it was ours, and ADOT just sent its yobbos in and smashed it. This ought to raise calls for a lot more than replacement cost. Public scrutiny ought to extend as well to the City bureaucracy that allowed this to happen and has apparently done nothing in response. Or is that yet another question that the Courier has failed to ask?