EDITOR'S DESK: The visioning thing

       If I were to tell you I was having visions, your first (and most sensible) reaction might be to call 911.
       But when paid consultants come up with "visions" for a highway corridor they don't live in, based on recycled ideas from Denver that only nominally honor Westside traditions (ignoring the main one called Leave Us Alone), why are we supposed to sit up with glistening eyes? Especially when it's evident those visions reflect certain, well... gaps. (Examples: a couple of greenway options show the Manitou Springs School District baseball field being relocated to... Colorado Springs; then there's the map that keeps identifying "Crystal Hill Boulevard"; and most recently, at the Aug. 27 City Council meeting, Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) project lead Dave Watt talked about some street I've never heard of pronounced "VER-mee-oh.")
       That's why I had to undertake special breathing exercises when City Councilwoman Jan Martin began enthusing, not just about the highway proposals themselves, but visions in general. "I'm a big fan of visioning," she explained during the meeting, adding shortly afterward, "We can't be all we can be if we don't keep visioning."
       OK, I don't want it to seem like I'm picking on Councilwoman Martin or taking her comments out of context. And of course it's smart to plan ahead in life. But to laud these consultants - who may very well care deeply about their work but for whom this process is also about resume enhancement and future contracts - at a time when her own residents are only heard at meetings, not listened to... well, maybe it's time for rethinking. Does a vision have to mean change? Why can't it mean valuing what we already have?... before someone else's vision takes it away.

- K.J.