Charlie MacArthur: A virtuous profit

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I recently found myself discussing whether America is finally at its end. As we are currently moving closer to a quasi-socialist paradise, there is little doubt that like previous generations, we have issues to work out. There are people who bleed the producers and there are those who produce. Our government bounces in the middle, sometimes swaying for the producers, more often stepping in the way. I cannot think this is the end, because at age 24, I have too many years ahead of me to give up. I have but one choice: to believe that I can work hard enough to stay ahead of intrusive government and professional freeloaders so that someday I will find myself able to give back to those who helped along the way.

As a warning, I plan on making a profit. I do not believe that anyone will benefit from my hard work if I do not benefit first. As I develop, I will hire others to help. If I make a bigger profit, I will hire more people, we will do more work, and through this more people will benefit. I don’t agree with our president. I hope that the bankers, Wall Street brokers, and auto and insurance companies are able to turn a profit this year and every year after. I hope that with every transaction, there are two winners, the person willingly purchasing a product and the company making a profit off that product. If the products are not quality, I hope that nobody steps in front of the free market and that company fails. As these companies make profits, I will enjoy watching the people they hire who live and play by the money they’ve earned. I believe in this system. I only fear the inevitable day when every producer, baffled by the injustice of being demonized for providing for so many, finally gives up.

This week, the Steamboat community stepped in the way of a producer and for that we owe an apology. We should not apologize for turning down the 700 project, for that was a force of the free market. We should apologize for lying to Danny Mulcahy and to ourselves. Like Francisco d’Anconia in Ayn Rand’s infamous novel “Atlas Shrugged,” Mulcahy made the terrible mistake of giving the public exactly what it had been asking for.

For Danny, I ask that you do not quit. Whether in Steamboat or elsewhere, being a developer is not a sin. Through each hour you work to create, you will support countless others. You will drag them, sometimes kicking and screaming, into a better life. You will not be thanked, but you will know that on your shoulders rests the burden of a virtuous profit.

For the Steamboat community, let’s stop deceiving ourselves. We do not want affordable housing; we want to think we do. It is wonderful to proclaim that we are looking out for every teacher, nurse and laborer in our community but when faced with choice, we choose to keep the value of our homes at inflated rates. We choose to keep Steamboat “exclusive,” a synonym for expensive. We do not want solutions to our traffic problems, and we do not want the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan; we drafted that like we draft New Year’s resolutions, without a connection between our resolve and the goal.

I ask that as the community reflects and analyzes, remember the importance of those who produce. I, for one, will be striving for a profit, and that profit will be virtuous.

Charlie MacArthur

Steamboat Springs

Comments

sledneck 4 years, 9 months ago

Bullseye! You got it Charlie!

We don't want affordable housing. Collectively we want to tell ourselves we are saving the world one mercury filled fluorescent light bulb at a time. The problem is so many, especially in this valley, have disdain for producers. They have no respect for industry or hard work. They view those with motivation as "greedy".

Worst of all they wouldn't understand or recognize the FREE market if it smacked them in the mouth. To them it's as if all the food, bikes, ski lifts or homes they enjoy daily could just "magically" keep comming after they decimate our markets.

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John Fielding 4 years, 9 months ago

Excellent commentary Charlie.

One thing that might be specified is that products ought to have an intrinsic value. A significant factor in our current economic dilemma is that the bundling and trading of assets from mortgages to ski areas does not produce anything except profits for the traders. There is a value in that service as well as long as it does not get out of proportion to the value of the product.

Those of us who produce, service and create will continue to do so, but it may well be that the middle size enterprises are regulated out of the market.

Keep the positive attitude and work ethic, and share it widely. It is the best hope for the promotion of the general welfare.

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Doug Marsh 4 years, 9 months ago

Well written Charlie. There seem to be too many negative and half empty people that have moved into the valley thinking that it is theirs. I guess they call themselves "locals" that know best for everyone. Maybe we should have closed the "pass" on them back in 1978. I'm embarrassed for the community, but "you" are the majority for now until you lose your job and have to vacate. Hopefully, the next generation will have for foresight to welcome new people and business to the valley.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 9 months ago

Charlie makes some valid points. This great recession played a role I'm sure.

But to say "Mulcahy made the terrible mistake of giving the public exactly what it had been asking for" makes little sense to 61% of us.

I can't speak for many, but I do know some supporters of affordable housing such as myself who spent a lot of time on understanding the annexation agreement. And they voted against SB700 because Danny was not giving Steamboat what the WSSAP asked for.

The WSSAP requirement of 400 AH units had no guarantee in the annexation agreement. The truth is the "possible scenario" achieving those units hinged weakly on static 6% interest rates for 25 years.

"Attainability" was promised to the public by SB700, but was also a matter of luck. It it could have been guaranteed instead in writing. Remember they chose NOT to write the attainability program, leaving us with a guess on attainability.

No it was not exactly what we asked for.

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kathy foos 4 years, 9 months ago

This affordable housing issue is dead in the water from the first day that people started blubbering about it (was it 20 years ago?)Empty words and efforts.Common sense dictates tract homes,average size lots,reasonable lending practices,there is room for all kinds of homes here,even nice mobile home parks,Craig has one with a club house and swimming pool.There was a highway improvement to another county to bring workers from Craig rather than let any workers actually live by the ski area,point being that any consideration is valid as long as only high end homes get produced .

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 9 months ago

Sun, In the near term, affordable housing will be easy to dismiss, as you do. Supply has completely reversed from scarce to plenty. Prices are way down. And a few in our workforce have saved their way into a solution that will now work, or at least work much sooner.

In the long term, affordable housing will be again seen as infrastructure necessary for Steamboat to compete with other resorts. The energy wages to our west and the cost of the commute here will be much larger factors in twenty years.

Other resorts took this seriously "yesterday". Today you are right, affordable housing is dead in the water in Steamboat - at least the AH ordinances (IZ and Linkage) we had have now been 80% gutted or even removed. So much blubbering for naught.

The discussion makes less sense in near terms than in long terms. SB700 was both a near term and a long term discussion.

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arnonep 4 years, 9 months ago

lewi, You are right to say "No it was not exactly what we asked for" because it was so much MORE. (Money for Hwy 40, 15 acres, parks, school, retail space, infrastructure, jobs...) That you, the 61%, can not understand simple economics is at the heart of the end of Steamboat. What part of more houses do you not understand? The "I want a free house downtown" were joined by the "I want my house to double in price every 2 years" and voted to make us Aspen II. Back to Charles, he is 24 and he gets it. His letter is probably the best written, most well thought out and eloquent thing ever printed by the Pilot. I have no doubt that Charles will prosper, it is just sad that it will not be from making Steamboat a better place but from building second homes in place of the homes that now house locals.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 9 months ago

Really? You think 61% of SB VOTERS cannot understand basic economics? Remember the article on who is voting said that average voter was older. And especially in SB, older is wealthier than younger, more likely to own home, and so on. The voters in the election had money and understand the economic system well enough to have done well personally.

Maybe voters rejected SB 700 because they were completely opposed to west side growth. Maybe voters rejected SB 700 because the promises were not believable. But you are lying to yourself if you think SB 700 failed because the voters failed to understand simple economics.

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TWill 4 years, 9 months ago

Would Charlie, at age 24, be so outspoken on this issue if he weren't handed the keys to a thriving, established construction business? This is hardly a kid that has proven himself with hard work and success. He is clearly well educated and a good writer, but more from a fortunate gene-pool than anything else. Let's not appoint Jr. as a martyr for the common man or anything else that he's not.

A lot less new roads will be built and foundations dug (ie: short term profit) after last week's election results. And THAT is the motive for this condescending message to 61% of the community.

BTW- how is the Victory Highway to Nowhere coming along? And who is paying for it? .

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arnonep 4 years, 9 months ago

Scott, 61% of the 60% that registered being 60% of the population, do not understand simple economics if they want Steamboat to ever have any affordable housing. And as you point out, the "haves" won and the "have nots" lost. George, It seems that you are suggesting a better plan can be made. Unfortunately that boat has sailed and no developer in their right mind will ever try to accommodate the City again. TWill, Good point, now the TAX PAYER will be paying for the Victory Highway and all of the Hwy 40 improvements. Thanks for voting no. Please reread Charlie's letter and get the point that he was very fortunate to have genes that taught him that hard work and actually producing something will guarantee his success. Time will judge if he can live up to the high bar his family has set for him.

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TWill 4 years, 9 months ago

I would rather pay for highway improvements through my state and federal taxes than subsidize a bad business decision made by a slick developer from Las Vegas through my local city tax.

That doesn't forgive wasteful state and federal government spending (that's another discussion itself). But we did prevent the City of Steamboat Springs from being burdened with a long term obligation with the no vote.

A modified version of SB700 will be proposed to the city by the same crew before we know it. Just wait and see. Those guys don't have too many other options (despite what they may say).

I'm serious about the Victory Highway to Nowhere too. Who is currently funding that? Is it really tax payer dollars?

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arnonep 4 years, 9 months ago

If I'm SB700, I'm suing the City and recovering the Victory Hwy money and all the other money extorted for the project, making a deal with the County on the whole 5 acre thing, packing my money (a lot more than if the annexation were approved) and moving on to retirement (talk about no long term obligation). Even without 5 acre lots, SB700 still has no economic incentive to play the City's game again. I hope you're right about us seeing a new version, but if not, Welcome to Aspen II.

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housepoor 4 years, 9 months ago

i don't think sb700 paid for the highway to nowhere?

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 9 months ago

Converting SB 700 into 5 acre or 35 acre home sites makes no sense. Look at the market for that. There is a decade supply of that product available in the South Valley which is a better location anyway.

The value in the SB 700 land is in getting it annexed into SB.

It also makes no sense for the County to allow that land to be subdivided into 5 acre parcels. The land is still within SB's growth boundary and owners of the 5 acre parcels could still ask to be annexed which would create a mess for the County and the City. When the county mentioned it was considering a 5 acre program near SB city limits, did anyone else notice that the county specifically said for land outside of the urban growth boundary?

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jk 4 years, 9 months ago

What a JOKE arnone!!! Do you really think the 700 crew spent $100;000 on an unsuccessful campaign because they had a better road out?? Are you kidding me?? That is some of the best buying into their pipe dream I have heard so far!!! The Majority has spoken, pack up the pitty party and Move On!

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arnonep 4 years, 9 months ago

George, Very entertaining. You mock my math and then use the kind of math Vote No used. By the way my math was a poke at how pathetic and apathetic we have become. With only 60% of the population registered and only 60% (a record) of them voting, I have to wonder what is the real representation? Do I really have to bring up the grocery store w/most of the people west of 13th using it, decreased traffic from the west, that this was a 20 - 30 year project, that 25% is better than 0, ect. to show you're math is Vote No math? As far as Charlie goes, maybe he is familiar with the fact that over 40% of our population is in or works for the government and the government produces nothing (maybe a few overpriced inferior cars now). Or that history shows that as the economy crashes, it is the producers that survive and recover faster. Reagan, probably, Marx, probably not. The City bled SB700 and I do not see them coming back for more. I also see the precedent of "give give give and see no return" has been set for all who dare.

Scott, Could the vote be considered reason to abandon the urban growth boundary? Could cents not sense have more to do with political decisions? Why is South Valley a better location?

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JLM 4 years, 9 months ago

There will be those who will be tempted to dismiss Charlie MacArthur's comments as the ill conceived utterances of a spoiled, wet behind the ears kid not old enough to have even experienced many of the lofty sentiments he voices.

There will be those who point out that Charlie has not lived enough days away from the shelter of his wealthy family and the bounty of his father's table. Not enough real experience in making his own way in the world he so righteously pontificates about.

There will be those who feel obliged to point out that a life of privilege and an education paid for by one's father are not the same thing as the gritty experience of actually having lived a bit of the hard life of which Charlie speaks.

Some will find fault with Charlie for having assumed the mantle of experience without having lived a life which has yet burnished or exposed his character.

There will be naysayers who will opine that making a few bucks by the sweat of your own toil is a prerequisite to lecturing the world about how it should conduct its business and that Charlie fails miserably on this score.

And they would likely be right though I must admit just a bit of admiration for such a pugnacious little whelp.

Perhaps, Charlie will come back again when he has accomplished something or other and when the heads on his wall were won by his own hand.

Until then, it might be wise to listen while the adults are talking.

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jk 4 years, 9 months ago

Arnone, would you please explain your grocery store saving the town theory?? First off you say there will not be 2,000 new houses instantly popping up out west!I Yet It's already been proven that a grocery store can't make it west of town until there is a greater population! Do you think Safeway or City Market would have been willing to leave their comfy confines to relocate where their rents would be greater?? And sorry but how will this solve any traffic problems if they had?? And by the way my foresight was 20/20 on this deal!!

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toboyle105 4 years, 9 months ago

If you really thought SB700 was going to be the pipe dream to afforable housing, you need to pack that pipe with some mm. Housing prices are dropping and will continue to do so. The flippers and single property realtors are leaving the market.

Be carefull of what you ask for. All those people moving into those 2000 homes that won't happen would eventually ask for way more than what was on the table. They may be able to buy the house but won't be able to pay the taxes. Take a look around the country where there has been explosive growth. The taxes are outrageous. See how much they pay in Las Vegas where there is no income tax

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sparkle 4 years, 9 months ago

The taxpayers already have paid approximately 1.4 million dollars for the new victory highway, one of the many subsidies to developers this council is known for. Other examples include seven year vesting on projects, reducing affordable housing requirements to a fee in lieu of that is a fraction of the actual cost to provide the real housing, meeting with privately with developers, etc., etc., etc.

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John Fielding 4 years, 9 months ago

If one examines the reasons for the closing of the Curve Market it is likely that the number of potential customers would not be a factor.

I live closer to that location than the other grocery stores but still shopped at City Market (when my supplies from Costco ran low).

The Curve was not competitive enough. Someone else can do it again and succeed if they will keep the prices low. They could even attract business from the other side of town, as long as the traffic is not too bad.

If Costco opened anywhere in this county or Craig it would be a great success and save locals millions of dollars a year. People want a good value for their hard earned dollar and will travel to get it.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 9 months ago

There are plenty of antidotes for Ayn Rand and the "bleeders" complaint. One of the most compelling examples of government purpose in direct confrontation to the "producer" exists in David Gargill's piece: "The General Electric Superfraud - Why the Hudson River Will Never Run Clean." - Harper's, Dec 2009. The producer can be an incredible scumbag.

Ethics are optional in production, you understand. Making profit off the cancering of whole neighborhoods around your factories is far from an isolated American story.

Charlie, I suggest you give the G.E. story a read before your next op-ed. Producers often have reason for pride, but not when it comes wholly at the expense of the well being of the commons. Pollution from the producer is such an easy thing to overlook, eh?

Another thing to consider that will complicate your life view. Unions can be awful when it comes to bleeding producers. But at important times in American history, they also fought for rights you would be loathe to let go. Like your weekends?

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mcpm 4 years, 9 months ago

JLM, Twill, and other self-proclaimed “adults”:

In reading your posts, one can’t help to appreciate the wisdom of your years, which as you were quick to point out; Charlie does not yet have the luxury of having. Years weathered by your real world experiences in the ‘grown-up world’. Would it be too presumptuous to expect that your aged and lofty ideals would have elevated the nature of your logic and arguments to dispute the character and meaning of Charlie’s letter? Yet, as demonstrated here, all that was heard in your arguments were remnants of simplistic playground tactics (granted usually my favorite too) shared amungst children – tantrums of jealously, envy, or guilt? You (JLM) have yet to debate or argue the context [message] of Charlie’s letter without relying upon the crutch of his youth, or the silver spoon mantra, in an aim to discredit him personally. So, is that to assume you unwillingly agree with him and his message – or that, like many, out of envy or guilt, you believe "greed" and profits are evil - yet, you’re still waiting for somebody to GIVE you the answer in a manor you can coherently regurgitate as your own? I won’t go so far as to say you may loathe the successful or those who are able to prosper more than others, nor do you damn those who are raised with privilege or education. But, I will agree with you on one point, it is a tough pill to swallow – somebody so young, for whatever earthly reasons, might actually be more ‘well rounded’ than you, sir.

Twill - “Would Charlie, at age 24, be so outspoken on this issue if he weren't handed the keys to a thriving, established construction business?” Can I take that to mean, if YOU(TWill) were a proprietor of a thriving and established construction company, of which you built (further assuming: YOUR talent, hard work, intelligence, character, integrity, etc, earned you the respect of your employees and customers alike, that is/was necessary to build the reputation that your ‘thriving and established’ company now enjoys) – you would blindly ‘hand over the keys’ to your son or daughter if you did not think he or she was undoubtedly capable? I think you can figure that one out on your own…

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John Fielding 4 years, 9 months ago

The very fact that Charlie wrote this article demonstrates that the greatest benefit he has received from his father is not genes nor wealth, but values.

We all have the same opportunity to make that our legacy as well.

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JLM 4 years, 9 months ago

@ mcpm ---

I am not exactly sure what you are driving at but let me see if I can expound upon my comment. You note that my comment suggests to you that I am "...relying upon the crutch of his youth, or the silver spoon mantra, in an aim to discredit him personally."

These are not illusions, these are facts. Charlie does not speak with authority of one who has actually accomplished what his father has. He borrows his father's credibility and authority and thereby lends credence to any who would point out his lack of authenticity, credibility, terminal youth and silver spoon upbringing. If those things were not true, would anyone even listen to what he says?

I run a substantial enterprise and some years ago when my now 24-year old son wanted a summer job, I called in a supervisor and told him to put him on the hottest, dirtiest, hardest jobs in the company. He was to be paid the lowest wage on the crew. I gave these instructions in front of my son and further told the supervisor that he was not to favor my son in any way.

My son, interestingly enough, rose to the occassion and did a hell of a job. Never once late to work. Never complained. Did his job well enough that when he left to go back to school, his primarily Mexican work mates had a little party for him.

He had EARNED the respect of his peers and he had earned my respect in the process. I was as proud as I possibly could have been.

When he came home from college and was struggling to find a job, he asked if he could work for my company again. I would have liked nothing more in the whole world.

I told him to go get a job on his own. A job he found. A job he landed. I told him to go bite the ass off a bear and then come see me again.

I told him to come see me in 5 years and then we would revisit the subject. When he had made his bones in the business world.

The world does not need any lectures about the nature of profits from anyone who has never turned an honest profit from his own capital and his own sweat.

Now do I agree with much of what he has said? Sure, but I hear his father talking not him as he has no authenticity to make such utterances. Go make your bones and then come lecture the world.

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JLM 4 years, 9 months ago

One of the most beautiful things about democracy is the ability of the majority to be heard and to influence public policy directly as in this instance or through the election of like minded representatives.

When the citizenry has spoken, democratic principles require that the result be embraced and put into effect.

What democracy cannot overcome is an otherwise popular bad idea. A bad idea embraced by a majority is still a bad idea.

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mcpm 4 years, 9 months ago

@JLM:

In the case of you and your son, it sounds like you did a fine job of managing the situation. You did what you felt was in the best interest of your organization and that of your son - and it sounds like you’re happy with the way things turned out. That is something to be proud of. However, unless you were directly involved with the matter of Charlie and his employment, I would venture to say your ‘utterances’ are merely speculations – and that it is a poor assumption to assume that the decision to work in the family business came with any less due diligence or reasoning than you required in the situation of your own.

With all of that aside, when I read Charlie’s letter, I did not see any claims of personal greatness or accomplishment, I saw a set of values applied to an application (I think @JohnFielding said it best) – and that is what I feel has been horribly missed in all of this conversation. Since when did writing about what you believe in and stand for require a prerequisite or a resume of accomplishment? Or why, in this case, is it frowned upon that a person’s values were more than likely instilled in them by their father and family (amongst others) ? That simply suggests a vendetta. If you disagree with his values or ideals – that is fine - of course - as you are entitled to your own opinion, but I don’t think that is the case here (as I think you share similar views). I will be the first to tell you that I, too, have no bones of my own or the worldly accomplishments that you require. I like to think that every day I am working hard in hopes of such things one day, but for the moment, I am just a guy, with a set of values and my own regard of what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, and I intend to use these things to help me reach my goal. For our generation, the up and comers, it’s not too farfetched to envision a world a world where moral ‘fiber’ ceases to exist. Corporate and personal bankruptcies are becoming common place, and for all the wrong reasons. People are no longer being held accountable for their own actions. Further gov’t intrusion (@george_K: not to say I have any negative regard for police, fire, k-12, etc) is lurking around the corner in every meeting of the senate or the house. Generally speaking, I’m fairly confident that many of my peers, older or younger, don’t even have values, or weak if any. If you disagree with this – that is fine. However with that said, if not, one would think a young voice with a shared value system and principals (wherever instilled from) – would be welcomed in-kind.

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realfeel 4 years, 9 months ago

Charlie, I think you have this upside down. In most countries the producers are the poor working class and the rich are the bleeders. In this country and in this town we can not subsidies tax dollars for small business. Your ether viable or your not. You most stand on your own (or your father's) two feet. The top 1 percent own 95% of the wealth. It is a hard battle.

Charlie I doubt you are one of the producers and therefore you sound ridicules complaining about it. I'm sorry you didn't get your way. I'm sure you will be fine. Quit your wining. By the way, why do you hate this country?

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toboyle105 4 years, 9 months ago

What is missed in all the discussions is that a local cashed out 500 ac for 25 mil. Now that is looking out for your comminity. Buy low, sell high!!!!!!!!

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John Fielding 4 years, 9 months ago

Funny how that sounds like a lot of money, $50,000 an acre. But that is just to get started.

Now add in that much again for highway work, and again for parks, police stations, etc. and double that for roads and utilities and we are up to more like 150 million. Hopefully some profit, and divide by 2000 homes equals roughly $100,000 each. Just for the lot.

Oh yes, and give away about 20% of the inventory to the housing authority.

I know these are not the real numbers, but it gives an idea of why we can't develop affordable housing here.

But it would be nice to have someone spending that money here, even if the buyers all had to spend just as much on housing there as in town or at the mountain.

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toboyle105 4 years, 9 months ago

Don't forget to add in the costs of a new fire station, fire trucks, police cars, schools, trash collectors, all the services these homeowners will demand and get. True costs for anything is never known until that tax bill shows up. Affordable housing is laughable. Its just the carrot to get you to bite.

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 9 months ago

The 700 proposal was ineffective because it wanted to pay for the impact that it created. In this valley we just pay our grant writers a bonus and all this will be free without developer involvement. Pretty smart huh?

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TWill 4 years, 9 months ago

Fred, you would think it was pretty smart if you were getting paid from that grant money.

Are your guys still working on the Victory Highway to Nowhere?

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 9 months ago

Why do we need to crucify Charlie? We need our young people to take an interest without this reception and display of class envy. If Charlie was pushing the benefits of medical marijuana I'm sure he would be looked on with favor. Charlie this is the price you will pay for daring to speak out. There are certain elements here that will censor anyone not following the agenda line.This is no longer the old west. Looking forward for your next comments.

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TWill 4 years, 9 months ago

What do you mean this is no longer the old west? Sure seems to me like we've still got plenty of old boys in place.

I reckon that them there cowboys back in the ol' days would have tanned the youngster's hide for speaking without merit like he did here.

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jk 4 years, 9 months ago

Fast Freddie playing both sides of the coin with this one!! " If Charlie was pushing the benefits of medical marijuana I'm sure he would be looked on with favor." Answer the questions Fred, how many times has your company benefited from grant money that you crucify now???

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John Fielding 4 years, 9 months ago

I don't think Fred was criticizing grant money so much as advocating not becoming dependent on it or eschewing other sources for economic activity.

We certainly ought to encourage diverse opportunities for maintaining a healthy business environment, including real estate development. It has been good for our community in the past, and we will have to have more of it at some point to meet future needs.

We had better figure out how we will permit it.

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 9 months ago

jk, Yes, I have participated in spending grant money, I need to keep the doors open, but long term, living beyond our means is for fools. Try this in your private life, this is what we do under the assumption that we are collectively immune. I see very few options for a nation burdened by debt that we cannot repay. It bothers me to see our valley with a welfare mentality, but maybe I'm just old fashioned.

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 9 months ago

George, You make good sense short term, but when everyone does this, the big picture will lead us to ruin. Earmarks are described as small potatoes by politicians but we have to start somewhere. Right now we are spending like drunken sailors, and calls for sanity are met with ridicule. Experiment with this in your personal life and if it works maybe we are onto something. I see the need for projects that you mention but we need to start thinking about paying our own way. We are not destitute in this valley but our leaders present themselves as mighty hunters by pursuing welfare, probably far in excess of our fair share.

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toboyle105 4 years, 9 months ago

FD I take issue with your drunken sailor remark. Sailors are on the ocean for long periods saving their money to be able to blow it on wine women and song whilst in port. They don't blow money they don't have. I spent 30yrs on the water. I'm far from needing handouts.

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jk 4 years, 9 months ago

So Fred, Just because I was wondering? Would you turn down grant money if it meant closing the doors??

John, What's your idea for diversification?? How can we continue down the winding (profitable for developers) road without jeopardizing our local infrastructure, not to mention our "small town/old west" feel??? Gambling Maybe? A few big casinos to occupy all of that vacant commercial space downtown?? We could get people from all over the region to come, and the money would flow. Fred could build roads everywhere! Charlie may be mad because we aren't really producing anything, and maintaining the small town charm could be tough.Imagine the sparkling lights down main street, the vitality of downtown,the sales tax money flowing into the town coffers, sking, gambling, and fishing all in the same day! Sorry I got all wrapped up in an easy way out. Forgive me!!

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John Fielding 4 years, 9 months ago

I heard a suggestion that we become the education capital of Northwest Colorado. We are in a fair way to that end with the potential for 4 year degrees at CMC.

The partnering with major Colorado universities that is being investigated holds great promise. How many CU or CSU students wouldn't give anything to spend a few semesters in Ski Town USA?

A vocational school that has a few local demand specialties would certainly fare well. We could also expand on the tradition established by Perry and Mansfield and offer performing arts curriculum.

Not all of this need be through the public sector of course. We have a longstanding tradition of private educational institutions here. The real spring is for the community to enthusiastically commit to moving in that direction and let the world know we welcome them. If we build it they will come, students and educators alike. If we treat them as well as we do our tourists how could they not?

I favor this particularly because of my family tradition as educators and its importance to the well being of our community and nation. There is little that is more beneficial than useful knowledge being shared.

But there certainly are other areas for diversification, I refer you to Scott Ford for some that show promise for our area. I do not support gambling per se, but if it could be kept very limited, say to allowing a poker table or two in a bar and maybe a couple of slot machines it strikes me as little different than pool tables and pinball. However, better not to let the camels nose in the tent.

So there are a couple of options. Whose next?

.

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John Fielding 4 years, 9 months ago

George, here we are agreeing again.

While diversification into economic activities other than tourism are certainly needed, there is no reason not to keep doing what we do so well.

There are several good reasons we could become Bike Town. I know I'm a little odd but I'd like to see the extreme bikers on our Nordic jumps in the summer. Believe me there are many who would do it and far more who would come to watch.

A course of jumps and rails on Howelsen hill would boost City revenues. Sponsored dirt road races with cash prizes on our XC course would bring many participants. The rodeo grounds are a perfect venue for that motocross type bicycle competition, (or even the one where they use real motors).

But more to your point, what does it take to host Velodrome? Is it a permanent venue or can it be trucked around to various arenas? We have the hockey rink, the tennis bubble, and if no roof is needed the rodeo grounds. How much sponsorship would be needed?

You have raised a great point, let's pursue it. It will bear fruit sooner than the education capital idea.

Who else has one?

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jk 4 years, 9 months ago

John, I like that one, I am sure people would gather from far and wide to watch a bunch of crazies launch themselves off the ski jumps!!!

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Kevin Nerney 4 years, 9 months ago

Getting back to the orginal storyline that Charlie was trying to make in his article. Charlie good luck with that. Hope you make tons and tons of money. I also hope you like giving it away to those who are too lazy to make their own way in this world. Uncle Sam just changed the rules of the game and are on track to continue changing the rules by allowing illegal aliens to instantly become legal and thus tap into free health care funded by you Charlie and others like you. Make sure you use two sets of books so that you don't show more than a 1/4 of a million dollars otherwise you will be taxed at a different rate and will be paying for the health care of others. So be productive, (live long and prosper,as we use to say) just make sure that if you hit your yearly mimimum (maximum?) by August or Sept. you take the rest of the year off and start up again in Jan. That's not too cynical is it?

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