Maybe the issue is that we need to think of our area as an interconnected and interdependent body. As noted in the article, across every city there are hubs that create their own "downtown." Some revitalization is necessary for certain areas of town that have fallen into disrepair. Yet, just because you have a headache doesn't mean you neglect the rest of your body. Everything needs to work in harmony. Right now the focus needs to be on our arteries--the roads and infrastructure throughout the entire body. People, not things, create great working and living spaces. Ensure a healthy, safe and vibrant area and it will become strong and flourish. Areas that prosper are where a diverse group (age, gender, socio-economic,etc.) all live and work. Downtown COS lacks that. Regulations, staid ideas of stadiums, trying to be like Denver or Boulder, the focus on vast development instead of new infill and not respecting our city's value are why our downtown isn't attractive to residents or tourists.
I recall that Mayor Bach went to the council asking for $2 million from the general emergency fund to pave roads. Then when they okayed it, he turned around and used it for the IT dept. I also believe he also took money for city road infrastructure and used it on the I25 work. If anyone is to blame for the condition of our roads, it lies at his feet. Paying out millions for NDAs, updating city hall, giving out bonuses not approved by council, the list goes on and on. It's not that people are "cheap" as happyfew thinks. It's that we are sick of paying out stupid legal and severance fees (as noted by goldsabbath), and having one thing being said and another done with our money. If we need more funding, then the city and county governments need to restore trust and transparency.
"It's too early to call any current urban renewal districts a failure"... however--speaking of University Village on Nevada:
1. Will the improvement be successful enough to pay back the bonds in a timely manner? Answer. No. Already the URA has defaulted on the bonds and are now seeking legal help to figure out what steps to take next.
2. Will the district use generate enough TIF to pay back the bonds and interest to construct the public improvement? Answer. See #1
3. Will the proposed use outlast the lifetime of the urban renewal district of 25 years? Is the state of the land after 25 years better than it was prior to urban renewal? Answer: Maybe. Or will we find ourselves with another South Academy or other neglected area as developers jump from spot to spot and the next best thing comes along? Ivywild is an example of good urban renewal. Calling a field urban blight is quite another.
4. What are the hidden costs of the improvement? If it is infrastructure, what are the maintenance costs during the Urban Renewal timeline? What will the costs be to the city after the 25 years are up? In reference to the stadium, hidden is a key word in every aspect--from surveys, to feasibility studies, to the actual costs, etc. The anticipated timeline of 30-50 years for the stadium just to pay for it will have the city going directly from building into remodeling/refurbishing. Whether you are for or against the stadium, it will affect citizens and taxpayers of this city and so we should get a vote on it.
Each of these candidates bring pros and cons to their run for mayor. With the exception of Ms. Makepeace and Mr. Miller, the other two candidates are career politicians. Mr. Suthers sided with a corporation over a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic who used pot for pain management. Ms. Lathen was one of the commissioners who tried to extend term limits through deceptive language asking voters if they wanted to "restrict" terms to three years over the two year terms. We need people in office who are for people over corporations and who don't twist language to suit their purposes. However, of the four, Mr. Miller is the ONLY candidate that believes a stadium is not the role of government and that any such stadium or event center must go to a vote of the people. Proponents of the stadium have noted that no general fund expenditures will be spent on CFC, and that it will come from TIF paid by tourists. However, the recent 2015 budget, just approved by council and crafted by Bach, shows a salary for a CFC manager in the range of 67,000 to $93,000. Currently, Ms. Neumann is being paid for CFC at approx. $8000 a month but no one has acknowledged where those funds are coming from. All that to say, good luck to them all and may the best person claim the mayor's seat.
Dawn French and Emma Chambers were the best female duo since Lucy and Ethel.
Thank you Ms. Collins for seeking to stop this ridiculous waste of taxpayer monies.
How can two people who could be fired by Bach--who supports CFC with no vote--be unbiased in this issue? There has already been a precedent set and this is no different. Why, do we as the citizens allow the URA to take and spend our monies, yet have no accountability, transparency or oversight of the organization? Any monies that belongs to the citizens of this city and county or will affect any of the monies that could have gone into the general fund should be required to have citizens' input through a vote.
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