The lead stories on the front page of The Spokesman-Review for May 8, 2018, raise an issue that while critical and pervasive is rarely discussed; the issue of size.
“The bigger the better,” “good things come in small packages,” “size matters (or doesn’t),” etc. are the some of the many lame attempts of folk-wisdom to simplify the issue. Has Bloomsday participation tended to decline because it got too big? Did the Elkfest annual music festival get canceled because, as reported, some people believed “the event had grown too large to continue as a block party music festival”?
The theme constantly runs through many of the controversial subjects daily dealt with in the paper and at the proceedings of the municipal government.
Another framing of the issue is expressed in the terms “quantity” and “quality.” While it seems that some significant advantages correlate with increased growth, others are diminished by the same variable.
How big do we want Spokane to become? What are the gains and the losses? It would seem that confronting this issue in a direct and deeply thoughtful way would contribute crucially to a wide range of civic decision-making. Maybe we need help.