Same as It Ever Was — Third Ward Version (Updated with Video)

With the campaign season underway in the third ward (Recorder story here) , I see the very real possibility that no meaningful policy changes will occur in terms of demand side economics. Or more to the point: why should I invest dollars and resources in Amsterdam ?
Over the past five years, the demand side argument for living in the third ward has diminished and continues to diminish with shuttering an elementary school and the museum. Bit by bit, significant public spaces fall to neglect with attendant graffiti and vandalism or fall to the worst type of use as commercial spaces embedded in residential neighborhoods. Meanwhile the economics of property values or the significance of a rich architectural legacy  remain unaddressed.
I do not want to rehash old arguments — they are posted elsewhere on the blog– of why the above actions undermine any economic rebound in real estate or business growth to this ward and more broadly across the city.
Yet I’m afraid that we will get more of the same with the new candidates as we have with our current and former incumbents. I think this is self-evident as you will not find any public statement against the Bacon closure nor will you find a public statement opposing the closure and sale of the museum from our incumbent or former representative. Of the candidates, Ms. DeRossi supported the Bacon closure in her initial run for the board of education. While her record on the museum showed some early support, her recent comments on the museum proposition could hardly be characterized as supportive.
With Mr. Going, I find that we share radically different visions of the future of our city and underlying economic policies given his support for the C&D landfill and opposition to Chalmers. I could not disagree more as what is best and what is worst for our city.
I’m sure the race will be interesting– they always are– so let’s see how this plays out. But I expect it will be more of the same.
Update: By reader request (h/t/ Darren) and as a TH/David Byrne fan myself albeit sans oversized suit:

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17 Responses

  1. Darren Peconie says:

    Think you should post the Talking Heads video of Same as it ever Was just for full effect and a nice Sunday shred….
    I tried to get someone to run on the Dem ticket in 3rd ward, but when Bob threw his hat in, she felt he had supported her family in the past and decided she could not run against Bob- very nice of her to do. Will be so interesting who the majority picks- almost like a primary election due to the sole so far Dem candidate being mostly an unknown.

    • Ann Peconie says:

      correction- above post made by Ann Peconie, not Darren. Never changed comment box above and he must have posted on your blog last….The The and Talking Heads were fav bands from freshman year of college, 1986-1987.

  2. Karin Hetrick says:

    As I understand, Dave Dybas on WCSS is holding a contest on a song for Amsterdam, this one should be played for his listeners. I only feel this way due to an incident I was unfortunate to have yesterday, with bad neighbors and very disrespectful people. (The same as it ever was!)

    • P. K. Dick says:

      Some other options:
      Ship of Fools – By the Grateful Dead (for those frustrated with policy)
      Kill the Poor – by Dead Kennedys (to solve the welfare blues)(I will give him $100 if he plays this one)
      Life is Shit – by Dead Milkmen (great for a sing along)
      I would post a “shred” but I lack the digital skigital.

  3. MJD says:

    In fairness to Mr. Going his opposition to the Chalmers project is more political than heartfelt. If you’ll try to picture Mr. Kaufman contacting the city when Mr. Emmanuel was still mayor and Mr. Chiara was the head of AIDA you’ll see what I mean. Mr. Chiara welcomed a whole slew of fly-by-night characters into the city and treated them as heroes on a white horse. A few of the higher profile ones include the arsonist who burned down the Mohasco factory building, the guys who were going to make ethanol from grass clippings (we were going to have the very first ethanol plant in the Northeast!), the home restoration man who was going to give away a house to a deserving family and the Aussie felon they just signed a building over to. I think Mr. Kaufman would have gotten the same heroes welcome everyone got from Mr. Chiara. And, like always, Mayor Emmanuelle, Joe Isabel, Mr. Going would have taken Mr. Chiara’s judgement to heart and fallen right in line and declared it a great day for Amsterdam.
    Mr. Isabel, Mr. Going, Mr. Chiara, Mr. Emmanuelle don’t object to the Chalmers project for any other reason than their little group won’t get credit for it. Mr. Isabel wants to be mayor and they’re trying to obstruct and derail anything Mayor Thane might get credit for.
    I used to give that group more credit, I honestly thought they wanted what was best for the city even if I didn’t agree with them what that was. I was wrong.

    • Robert N G says:

      Trust me, my opposition to the Chalmers project is heartfelt and sincere. I could not care less who gets credit for what. While I’m willing to listen to anybody who wants to invest here, giving away the store is not something that usually meets my approval. The Via Ponte is not viable without clearing the Chalmers site, and it is now tied up in limbo indefinitely thanks to an extremely badly negotiated contract.
      As for Mr. Chiara, under his leadership at AIDA a long-empty industrial park was filled with diverse viable businesses, notwithstanding the otherwise anti-business climate of New York and Montgomery County. That was nothing less than miraculous. Show me one other local person who has done as much. (And he had absolutely nothing to do with the Mohasco arsonist. That was a private sale.)

  4. Karin Hetrick says:

    Besides a certain few, is there anyone out there who really wants whats right for our city? I had a really bad 2 days and I feel like spittin’ bullets! What on earth has gone wrong here? And when did Amsterdam become this way??? I can hardly stand to leave my house anymore. The fear I feel beyond my fenced in house is making me feel like a prisoner. PS…I was told by a police officer that “I was a minority!” I am a white woman and 7 year business owner, therefore, I cannot speak up to people who are ruining my business because I am not black or hispanic. Go figure.

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