Our seasoned mayor is fighting to speed things along. The City of Kokomo website announced the waiving of certain construction fees: “In an effort to help facilitate recovery efforts, the City of Kokomo will waive certain permit fees through December 20th related to cleanup and reconstruction from storm damage suffered on November 17th. The fees include, but are not limited to dumpster permits, demolition permits, building permits, and electrical permits for commercial and residential structures. In order to obtain a permit, residents are still required to submit the appropriate paperwork to the Permit Office related to their specific recovery needs.” Good move.
Still, speeding things up does does not mean “instantaneous.” It is hard to be patient, for sometimes a wait can take a toll on a business. Many of us remember the Sycamore Street project a few years back, essentially making Sycamore Street impassible for some time – and passable but miserable for months and months. Several businesses went under because of the losses this inflicted, including Benjamin Franklin at the Forest Park shopping center. We can presume most of the businesses affected by the tornado will survive to reopen; the situation is quite different.
During the 1965 Palm Sunday tornadoes, I was probably playing with plastic tanks and Army men in our backyard in Cicero, Ill. I never heard of that disaster until I moved here in 1983. I have no idea how long it took for Russiaville to rebuild, for example. But I am sure it did not happen overnight.
Technology may shorten the wait, but waiting is still part of modern life. Life is better for all if we wait patiently, but waiting patiently is one of life’s most difficult disciplines. Waiting impatiently makes the wait seem even longer, so impatience offers no benefit. We can remind ourselves that all involved — city/county government employees, insurance companies, contractors, etc. — are human beings like the rest of us and (by-and-large) people with good will. They are out to help us, not tangle us up. Some things are complicated and just take time.
Ed Vasicek is pastor of Highland Park Church and a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.