Long overdue

Published 9:15 am Sunday, March 15, 2009

By Staff
They’re getting paid, not much, and were elected to make decisions.
It’s time the mayor and City Council stopped talking some issues to death and act on them.
Take the lingering issue of where to locate permanent public restrooms in the downtown/waterfront area. It’s been studied, analyzed and reviewed so much that someone could have used all that research to write a doctoral thesis on the need for public restrooms in an area greatly used by the public.
For a city that works hard to attract visitors to its waterfront, Washington is damaging those efforts by just talking about and not building permanent public restrooms. In 2007, the lack of permanent restrooms and the fact that the “temporary” restrooms were closed during the city’s Fourth of July celebration left one visitor unimpressed with Washington.
That closure forced the man’s wife, who has trouble walking, to seek a portable toilet. There’s no doubt that portable toilet was as comfortable as the “temporary” restrooms would have been for the woman. The man made it very clear that the closure of the restrooms left him with a bad impression of Washington. He could not understand why they were closed on a day when they were needed.
Considering how often the downtown/waterfront is used, especially during special events such as Smoke on the Water, Saturday Market and the Summer Festival, it is long overdue when it comes to the city building permanent restroom facilities somewhere on or near the waterfront.
There is no doubt that permanent restrooms for everyday use are no longer a luxury for the city to provide — they are a necessity.
In January, the council once again discussed the matter. At issue, and what’s always been the main issue when it comes to those restrooms, is where to locate them. Several sites have been selected, rejected and reselected.
Some people and organizations have recommended the city needs a revised plan for the revitalization of the downtown/waterfront area before it can move forward on building the permanent public restrooms in that area. Well, the wait for those public restrooms has been long enough.
City Council, don’t worry about choosing a site that will please everyone; that’s not going to happen. Just pick a location and build the public restrooms — and, at the very least, please some of us.
The public that will use those restrooms shouldn’t have to wait any longer for them.