Ramblings

1) Presidential Election — The evolving memes seem to be: a) the country is still center-right b) the presidential election in terms of popular vote does not mean that a mandate has been granted c) the support for the President-Elect relies upon an irrational, cult-of-personality mindset versus a buyin to ideology and policies.

I profoundly disagree with all of the above.

2) The Recordernews.net site — I do not subscribe to the Recorder so I was glad that it was joining other local papers with a free online business model to supplement the traditional business model. Unfortunately the site suffers from a slew of issues from formatting, readability, navigation and currency.

3) The sale of tax liens by the city — I was curious as to the business case to not sell the tax liens and instead bring the process in-house. What struck me about the argument against selling the tax liens was the reliance on assumptions from the past year in terms of numbers of defaults and the rate of collection. What’s curious is why the assumptions would not be updated to reflect the worsening conditions around credit quality and rates of foreclosure and pre-foreclosure. Furthermore, a dollar day is almost always worth less than a dollar tomorrow so hopefully that was factored in as well. I’d like to give a caveat to my prior comment that is based upon commentary in the papers and from the radio so perhaps a more rigorous analysis was performed.

4) The Recorder has an op-ed on AMD. Here are a few passages of interest:

How any of this might benefit Montgomery County is difficult to project. Could some of the offshoot businesses locate here? Maybe, but that’s impossible to determine at this point.

More likely is the notion that some of the 1,400 workers who will be employed at the AMD plant in Malta might reside in the Amsterdam area.

It could happen, especially now that the area has a direct tie to the AMD project – Fulton-Montgomery Community College

[snip]

The canal helped bring prosperity to Amsterdam and if plans to revitalize Amsterdam’s South Side and to build a pedestrian bridge linking it to the Main Street area are successful, we have reason to hope it can happen again.

I have two comments on the above: first, instead of “it could happen” , why can we not develop a strategy and plan to make it happen. I’m going to go on a limb and say “let’s set a goal of 2% of AMD workers will live in the City of Amsterdam”. That translates to 28 people. I see no reason why we cannot develop a strategy and plan to entice 28 people to move here.

Second, while I support the acquisition of moneys to build the pedestrian bridge, I’m having trouble with the marketing story around the bridge. If we’re going to have a vibrant, funky South Side , why do I want to cross the river? Yes, I’m skeptical on this issue but I have yet to hear a compelling marketing story for the existing downtown that would make me leave the South Side to go downtown.

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