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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

What happens when people care enough about our city to do something to make it a better place? We get things like the new mural on the side of George Fritz’s store. George should not only be commended for his efforts to get that mural done, he should be named Lockport Citizen of the Year. Maybe we can start our own Citizen of the Year contest here at ENP and name George our first winner. He would certainly deserve it.

But it is not just the fact that George spearheaded a drive to have a gorgeous mural painted prominently on one of our downtown buildings that makes him special. It is why he did it. He did it for the city. People like George do so much for this city that goes unnoticed that it is a crying shame. Pete Robinson, Chief Larry Eggert and other prominent citizens around here do things because they love Lockport. Maybe we should all follow their lead.

I cannot stop talking about George’s mural because of how much it looks like a photograph. As soon as I have time, I intend to take some pictures of the mural and post it on my Facebook page. I may even put it on my writing website to promote my hometown. Why would I do something like that? Because I love Lockport and I want to do what I can to make it a better place. If you feel the same way, then the mural is something to rally around and be proud of. It is an amazing representation of our history that we can all enjoy.

So what is the point of this? The point is that you need to reach deep into your love of Lockport to find the inspiration you need to get out and vote in November. The candidates for all of the offices are pleading their cases to be heard by the masses (check out the mayoral candidate interviews on our podcasts) and you need to pay attention. You need to listen to every word these candidates are saying and make an informed decision instead of just voting for the incumbent.

Let me put this into perspective for you. Our city is on the verge of something wonderful, or something horrible. The difference between awesome and cataclysmic is in your hands. Basically, if you want things to keep going the way they have been going, then vote in the incumbents. Is that the best thing for the city? Maybe it is. I am personally not sold on the idea of voting in the people that have had their chance and kind of made a mess of things. The only incumbent I would not mind seeing get re-elected is Mayor Anne McCaffrey (not that I am voting for Mayor McCaffrey, but I feel she is not terrible for the city).

Do you honestly love your city? Then do your research and vote for the right people. There is a huge disconnect between the Municipal Building, the police department and the fire department. There is a huge disconnect between the different offices within the Municipal Building, which is a very bad thing for this city. The people responsible for that disconnect need to be replaced if we are going to get our city back in order. You cannot run a city when the different departments do not talk to each other. The animosity between the Municipal Building and our important public services is damaging our city, and it needs to change.

We need new people involved in running our city who have new ideas and new points of view. The same old things are no longer working and we have reached a point where we either change, or we perish.

When you see George’s mural, you should stop to admire it. The mural stands as a testament of George’s love for his city and his ability to motivate people in the city to get things done. We need more people like George involved in determining the direction our city is heading in, but he is busy running his successful business. That means that we are going to have to vote for the people on the ballot in November.

While I would prefer that the incumbents do not get re-elected, I will honestly step aside for a popular vote based on research and dedication. If all you are going to do in November is vote for the incumbents because you did not do any research and it is just easier to vote for the people who are already in office, then do the city a favor and stay home.

But if you did your research and you are honestly voting for what you feel is best for Lockport, then I will see you at the polls. I always love meeting other people who care as much about Lockport as I do. Right now, I think that people like me are a small minority in Lockport. I cannot wait until Election Day in November to prove myself wrong and see thousands of people who care about Lockport and understand how important the 2015 elections really are.

+George N Root III  is a Lockport resident who respects the energy and dedication of people like George Fritz and Pete Robinson. Follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3 or send him an email at

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1 comment:

  1. Well, that's way better than a cup of coffee to start your day. Thank you for the nice comments. I do love Lockport. The biggest reason is the many people who also genuinely love this place. They are willing to step up and do something positive. They have a vision and work toward making it a reality. They are all around us and the examples of their work are impressive. There must be something special about a place that inspires such passion. Even when it's negative, you know it comes from a frustrated desire to make Lockport a better place.
    I didn't paint the mural. Two amazing artists did that, Augustina Droze and Bruce Adams. Every bit was drawn and painted by hand on the wall in twelve inch grids. Lockport now has the most complex and detailed mural that either artist has ever done. I believe the result was a direct channeling of the passion they felt from a daily parade of citizens who came by to express their excitement and appreciation. It was inspiring. It's true that I organized the committee and saw the project through, but it's the people of Lockport who really own this work of art and are responsible for making it happen.


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