In government, there are disagreements.
But at Monday’s work session meeting of the Corbin City Commission — perhaps the most productive and fun meeting I’ve been involved with yet as a commissioner — we ALL agreed on one thing.
The Corbin Creekwalk should be named after commissioner Ed Tye.
In an age when history is forgotten so quickly, there may be little appreciation for the creekwalk and what a monumental project it was to get completed.
As a reporter for this newspaper, I covered the ins and outs, ups and downs of that project for years. There were delays that it took a while to sort through. The usual amount of public grumbling about how it would “never happen” or that it was a waste of time; and all the typical negativity that surrounds just about any public project anymore, was front and center. Luckily, it happened in an age when Facebook wasn’t pervasive. It probably would have never survived the onslaught, focus and intensity of naysaying that social media can produce.
In the years when we actually communicated face-to-face more, I spoke to many folks who questioned the sanity of the idea of putting a walking path along Lynn Camp Creek.
“Why would they want to put something like that next to a stinky old creek?” That was uttered to me many times over the course of the project.
Others said no one would use it.
Waste of taxpayer money.
The litany of reasons to just give up were many.
I haven’t forgotten that.
To his credit, commissioner Tye stayed publicly resolute on the necessity for the project. What a good thing it would be for Corbin. He’d conceived it. He wasn’t about to let it go.
Behind the scenes he pushed even harder to make it happen.
The creekwalk holds a special place in my heart. I always liked the idea from the very beginning. But when I very first started to take on jogging as a hobby — as a way to improve my pitiful health — I used the creekwalk almost exclusively for the first few months. Back and forth I ran and walked on that half-mile stretch. I enjoyed the views and the varied nature of it. It was a great way to gauge how far I’d traveled.
I always saw and met other friendly people getting their daily exercise in as well on the creekwalk. Many would go to it to feed the ducks or take pictures on the Engineer Street Bridge.
I’ve seen a wedding or two there.
The whole project has held up exceptionally well.
The lights along the creekwalk still work. They are still there. They look no different than they did when they were installed.
The walkway itself has aged little. I like the landscaped raised beds, benches and water fountains. They are nice touches.
When I look at that project, I think that’s the sort of thing I’d like to say I left behind when my time as a commissioner is over. Something people can see and use. Something that adds value to our community and improves quality of life simply because it exists.
Ed Tye was integral to making the creekwalk happen.
It’s only fitting it bears his name so that people decades from now — an eternity in modern times — won’t forget that things don’t just happen. It takes people who really care about their community to force them into reality.