The Demolitionists' Dismay (Updated)

Update 12/16/2013 — I was away from the blog this weekend and looking at the comments, I want to make a few things crystal clear:

– You can disagree with me. You do not get to say I’m “way out of my league” for voicing my opinion and then countering with nonsensical, strawman arguments nor do you get to leverage personal attacks when you were warned before. Nor do you get to say that you know the answer when you clearly do not with comments like “I will not get into for it would take volumes of pages to explain in detail on what must be done.”  A red card for Bill Wills , now excluded from commenting on this blog.  

– You can disagree with me on financial issues but you need to bring some numbers to the table. Please don’t insult my intelligence with claims that my numbers are incorrect with ZERO supporting data and expect that this will be permitted as a good-faith argument. A yellow card for Karl Baia.

Please read my rules if you are going to comment. If you do not like my rules and wish to misinform and leverage personal attacks, there are other local blogs and radio stations specifically created for just that. 


Today’s Recorder story lays bare the fallacy of the argument that demolition yields a positive return for tax payers Indeed, it’s pretty clear that demolition costs taxpayers dearly:

In the past, city officials have said leveling a property typically costs $30,000 and $35,000 if the property has asbestos. With about 20 scheduled demolitions in the upcoming year, they would cost the city approximately $730,000.

But, von Hasseln said, that only takes into account the demolition and no one has ever bothered to find the true amount until now.


“We found that [$30,000] isn’t the real cost of blight,” von Hasseln said. “If you take it down, after you spend all of that time in there, it really comes out to be above $60,000 a property.”

The 90 properties demolished because of blight multiplied by $60,000 each is $5,400,000.

But don’t expect financial reality to sate demolitionists’ thirst for demolition. No, I’m sure we’ll be presented with assertions of the how demolitionism is a public good — after all it is a shared service and all the usual nonsensical arguments that go with the claim that demolition is “free” and a net positive for the taxpayer. 

An interesting side story here is whether the pro-demolitionist editorial stance at the Recorder will shift

I’m sure they’ll be loathe to fold up their lawn chairs. 

And hey, how’s that Chalmers demolition — a wonderful venture in demolitionism– working out for taxpayers?

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