Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 7, 2016

The cones, Panthers are back

By Bill Gray

By BILL GRAY

Mt. Pleasant News

Did Mt. Pleasant’s affable City Administrator Brent Schliesman plan this?

The cones! Did Brent schedule their comeback for the week the Panther boys were in the Class 3A tournament — so we’d hardly notice because we’re so excited about the ball games?

If he did, it worked for me. If we win the state championship, you can block off Washington and Grand again!

Well, maybe for a day before I’d start mumbling under my breath.

I’m pretty certain Mayor Steve Brimhall didn’t schedule the cones. A reliable City Hall source has told us the Mayor is doing his best to take in every high school tournament game at beautiful Des Moines. Not to imply that he is neglecting any Mayoral duties.

And when we play in the finals Saturday night, here’s hoping the last person that leaves for the arena locks the door to Mt. Pleasant behind them. That’s going to be one quiet night, because the Panthers are gaining followers by the basketful.

Of course, it’s going to be extra fun after Saturday because I’m counting on both a Danville and Mt. Pleasant state championship to be accomplished. Those Bears have been really something as well!

If only we could bottle some of our enthusiasm and good feelings from our state tournament runs and sprinkle it out during the year. It might help us avoid mumbling under our breath in a few months when those orange cones may start to feel like they’re implanted permanently on Washington Street.

I wish some of the good feelings from the tournament could find their way to the Legislature meeting nearby. No, scratch that – a politician “feeling good” sometimes means they’ll feel good enough to dig deeper into our wallets and pocketbooks.

Right now, it appears there’s a strong “bicycle lobby” making them feel good, because they’re serious about a 10-cent gasoline tax that will have a lot more of us pedaling and walking. Why is it that rural state lawmakers seem more inclined toward gasoline taxes than lawmakers from urban states where driving long distances isn’t such an integral part of residents’ existence?

“Slick Willie” Sutton had the answer, when he responded, to the question, Why do you rob banks:

“Because that’s where the money is.”

Frustration with state lawmakers can’t hold down Mt. Pleasant this week with our boys representing us so well and in such an exciting fashion. Actually, the Panthers have been pouring it on their tourney opponents so heavily that the tension’s about gone by the fourth quarter!

Coach Rundquist and his young charges know better than to take success for granted. And we’d better not take the improvements already completed on Washington Street for granted, even if right now we’re mumbling a bit about the “third leg” of improvements tearing up the heart of the city.

I have every confidence the Panthers will demonstrate how we should “keep our eyes on the prize” and, just as they will work their way past their opponents Saturday, weíll work our way through the cones until November-ish — then maybe weíll have a nice, smooth “main drag” through Mt. Pleasant as a community “trophy.”