I feel compelled to correct the record on Jim Merritt’s claims regarding the redevelopment of Union Station since I was there at the time.
Merritt had a legitimate role, among many, in saving Union Station but he had no role in designating it as a federal courthouse, which the U.S. Congress had to approve and fund.
In fact, his involvement was as one of the architects, for which he was paid handsomely with taxpayer dollars.
It also might be of interest to taxpayers to note that the original renovation designs were significantly over budget and rejected by the federal government. It took everything I had to convince the government to stay with the project.
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When Merritt exaggerates his role on Union Station, he disrespects the hard work of countless other community leaders who played, in some instances, a much larger role than himself — people like Elbert Baker and Seymour Johnson who inspired the idea.
Merritt should try a little more “we” and a lot less “I” because he diminishes his own role and disrespects many of us when he makes it all about him.
(Dicks is a former congressman who represented the 6th District for 36 years.)