Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Gotta Love Election Years

Ok, I can't let this one go. If you haven't read the print paper today, there is an Op-Ed from Girvan. If she really wants to put this out here like this, it opens herself up to all the responses. Matt Kelly and I don't always agree, but he wrote a very well articulated response.

Let me try to be even clearer - what is it Girvan wants to say? Here is why so many people have responded negatively to the way she asks questions at council meetings: It isn't clear until the very end what she is trying to say. It starts with the moment she is recognized to talk - routinely the first words are "I have a question", yes, we all know that, it's why you were recognized. Then there are several sentences of supporting information, and a minute or two later it's followed with something like a question.

Lets compare this to the Op-Ed. First she makes a statement wanting to devalue one council action over another. She tries to define subsidy and incentive in light of recent actions. If she would visit the Webster-Meridian dictionary and lookup the definitions, she would find that her examples are not accurate. Then she makes statements comparing a 200M single tourist attraction to a mixed use 1.8B development in Arizona. I'm sure I could find a dozen examples more closely related to what the city is doing for Kalahari.

Subsidy: a grant or gift of money as a grant by a government to a private person or company to assist an enterprise deemed advantageous to the public
Incentive: something that incites or has a tendency to incite to determination or action

Ale House of Fredericksburg, Kalahari, Kybecca, all of the JumpStart beneficiaries - are getting money as both incentives AND subsidies. The subsidy is done as an incentive for certain activities: Moving to the area, restoring facads, changing office space to retail, etc, etc.

Do I like that Kalahari is getting so much tax money back? No. Would I be against the program because of it? NO. I'm able to weigh the disadvantages, with the many other benefits. Is she really saying that if the current proposal doesn't change she's going to vote 'no'?

Even Ms. Givan states "We must work harder to market the city as an attractive place to work, live, and play " - doesn't having Kalahari here make the city more marketable? She also states that we need to be "creating an action plan". I think this is a great idea - so show us what you've got? Don't expect us to vote based on words alone, if she thinks we need a plan, how about giving us a proposal. According to Matt the city already has an incentives plan, I know they have a documented JumpStart, and we have full time city employees specifically tasked with economic development.

Wow, and there is still a whole month left before the election. Lets just say it's going to get interesting around here. (Did anyone else notice that she hasn't mentioned Autochalk since my article on cost/benefit.)

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