Parking Lot 1000
A prevalent meme in the city budget saga centers on the claim that hire of a director for the Community and Economic Development Department (CEDD) is wholly unnecessary; indeed, it’s claimed, that we have the city IDA and “the County” doing that for us already. Therefore, no need to fulfill the position thereby– you guessed it– protecting taxpayers from higher taxes.
Let’s turn a critical eye to this assertion with a very visible, unquestionably important, vital development opportunity: Parking Lot 1000 or as it was formerly called, “Chalmers”.
I think it’s indisputable that a development opportunity exists and PL1000 is indisputably the most visible potentially game-changing development project in the city. As such, it would stand to reason that its marketing and development would be foremost to those looking to bring economic development to the city. I don’t think there can be much dispute that PL1000 sits on top of the list of potential development opportunities.
If we now revisit the claim that the city has no need for economic development resources, the answers to the questions below would be more than clear in light of the agencies above:
1) Who owns marketing PL1000?
2) What is the ideal development strategy for the city on PL1000?
3) What is the marketing and sales plan for PL1000?
4) I could go on….
I think you see my point: neither agency is part of the answer for 1 through 4. After all, PL1000 is a long time in the making and if indeed the agencies were working toward the city’s interests with PL1000, the actions of their efforts would be evident.
But like Parking Lot 1 through 999 and Parking Lot 1001 and thereafter, we can merely claim that economic development is occurring in the city, when as this example clearly shows, it is , in reality, not happening at all.
So, once again, instead of looking at strategic opportunities that can more than offset our financial difficulties through growth and development, instead, we can look at things line-by-line for imaginary 6-figure savings and simultaneously forego 7-figure development for which we have no strategy or plan of execution in place.
Oh, Flippin’, you’re just hyperbolic!
Well, maybe , but if you think I am , you can easily prove me wrong on this blog. In fact, I will post the complete rebuttal to my claim and post an apology. All you have to do is show me the written strategic and marketing plan along with a specific action plan on PL1000. It should be quite easy as these documents must exist if indeed “the County” and the IDA are doing it for us. For why would we need a CEDD or an entirely new entity as I advocated?
If they are not, then who is?
Oh that’s right, we’re already focused on PL1001.