Letter from Laurence Budd
Development – October 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine
Jeff Donlan had it right
Dear Mrs. Quillen,
I have just read the September 1997 copy of Colorado Central, and did not miss the point that Salida is having growing pains. We live near a small town in central New Mexico, and we too are having similar pains.
I agree completely with the comments by Mr. Jeff Donlan: don’t let Salida become a neon beacon in the night. And, do encourage the development of more pedestrian shopping versus car shopping.
You have a leg up on us, because most of our small towns were built after the car, and so have no pedestrian areas. We are already a neon beacon of McDonald’s and truck stops, now trying to reverse an appalling trend. People from big cities love to visit towns like yours, where one can stroll and shop without being in a mall. This is exactly what makes the small towns of England and Europe so appealing to we Americans.
I don’t think Salida could or should try to stop the tourist dollars.
Therefore, the best direction to take is along the path Mr. Donlan promotes, to create an ambience and charm which tourists will like and respect. We once visited a town called Broadway, in the Cotswolds, west of London. The place was overrun with tourist busses, and yet was perfectly quaint, welcoming and picturesque — no blue neon! Perhaps Salida could bring a town planner from such a place, to consult your town along these lines.
As to your law and order and town rules problems, I believe it would be better to have one magistrate with common sense and a firm but fair hand, than to make a lot of petty laws. It sounds like your town council has been too accommodating, with the result of offending everyone and pleasing no one.
I would suggest revoking all town rules created after 1950, and starting over.
All the best, Laurence Budd, Sandia Park, N.M.