For Astoria, this is the best of times and it is the worst of times. It is the best, because the world is coming our way. City government, private investors and nonprofit organizations have made wise and bold choices, which has caused the larger community of investors to respond. Astoria is on the map in a way that it has not been for several decades.

It is the worst of times, because our city government lacks leadership at the very moment when it needs to be taking the lead in capitalizing on another set of opportunities. The pump station mess and the four-year lapse in personnel policy - both discussed on this page Tuesday - are symptoms of a leadership gap.