Back to the Bricks deserves apology
I am sure that as the old saying goes, there are two sides to every story. But I have to say, after reading Mr. Hatch’s letter in the Squire this week; I am extremely disappointed in hearing how the city of Rockford treated the Back to the Bricks organization. Both my wife and I were born and raised in Genesee county and are very familiar with Back to the Bricks. It has always been a very positive event year after year. We watched it grow in size and popularity over the years and looked forward to it every summer. It brought many positive benefits (economic and otherwise) to the Flint area which sorely needed it. People jammed the downtown area to attend every summer and the local businesses in the downtown area all benefited from it. Now, it’s state wide and in fact, all cities that Back to the Bricks visits have benefited.
We transplanted ourselves here to the Rockford area recently and thought we had made a good decision. However, after reading Mr. Hatch’s letter I have to say I am extremely disappointed in the way Back to the Bricks was treated by city officials and have to wonder about our decision to locate here. The only way we found out about the event was because of your newspaper which we received in the mail that very Friday. We jumped in the car and drove downtown only to find that most of the participants in the show had already left town. Not only that, but the fact that they were forced to locate in the back parking lots, where if you weren’t looking for it, I don’t think you would even know they were in town. I’m sure there are other classic car fans out there just as disappointed as we were.
Why city officials decided Back to the Bricks wasn’t worth their time is beyond me. You would think that if someone came knocking on your door with TV crew, state tourism official and money to spend, that you might want to pay attention. To me, it was not only a conflict of interest but arrogant, inexcusable and just plain bad manners.
The City Manager (Michael Young) and the other city officials mentioned, at the very least, owe the Rockford community and Back to the Bricks an apology and an invitation back next summer. I sincerely hope they do.