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The bar is set so low that it is hard to imagine any area not meeting 4 of the 11 criteria. The law doesn't specify what is required to meet each criterion. It's wide open to interpretation.The supposedly adverse conditions do not have to be predominant. They only have to exist somewhere in the area. If no property owners in the area object, then only one condition has to be met. Meeting 5 conditions allows the City to exercise eminent domain.
However, meeting the requisite number of criteria is necessary but not sufficient to earn a blight designation.
According to the Colorado Urban Renewal Law, the blighted area must substantially impair or arrest the sound growth of the municipality, retard the provision of housing accommodations or constitute an economic or social liability, and be a liability to public safety, health, morals or welfare.
I strongly recommend that people read the actual study. There are too many important details to do it justice in a newspaper article. There is a link to the study above.
This will have an impact on the County and the School District. Also, the City Council, will be able to indebt the taxpayers. in order to pay for projects, in advance of actually garnering the anticipated incremental tax revenue. And whether we eventually garner the revenue or not, taxpayers will pay, and the anticipated projects will have priority over other uses for our money. Future Councils will find their hands tied.
Thank you, Scott Ford, for educating the public about how the City Council, acting as the Liquor Licensing Authority, performs its legal function within the constraints of State law. I hope and trust that you will continue to bring greater transparency to the operations of this City.
I am curious, though, how the State defines "need" and why there is a need for even one liquor store. Could you elaborate on the State's criteria for determining "need"?
Also, Scott, could you explain the basis for Mr. Sypert's claims concerning adding new jobs and additional tax revenue. Did he present evidence to demonstrate that the new store will increase demand for liquor, not just siphon that demand from existing liquor stores, or for that matter, from any other business where people might spend those dollars?
I urge the Chamber-Resort-Media Complex to work as hard on promoting local hiring as they do to promote local shopping. What I see, instead, is employers going to the ends of the Earth, and employing all means possible to suppress local wages.
I sure wish people used this forum to comment on the content of the article (or letter, as the case may be), and directed their comments to the person who wrote the article. If they did, then we might see wider participation. There are thousands of intelligent people reading this every day. I don't blame them for not wanting to risk subjecting themselves to verbal abuse.
These pissing matches, and all this self-revelation should be private.
Could this newspaper do some actual reporting instead of a fluff piece on Mr. Carmichael?
Some questions the reporter should have asked:
Why is this appropriate use of taxpayers' money?
If the City donated the $15000 in prize money, what did the other sponsor, Wells Fargo, donate?
Who are Mr. Carmichael's business partners? Just exactly who is entitled to compete for, and receive, this "prize"?
Why is "the viability of the plan" worth only 15% of the score? Mr. Rudasics' comment leaves the impression that this was merely an academic exercise in writing and presenting business plans.
Now, if you could just bring some rigor to your spelling..........But I'll certainly keep you in mind for my next raft trip.
But seriously, you're asking the right questions, Scott. What is the purpose of the program? What is the goal? Is there a time frame to reach the goal? Were there criteria established for evaluating success or for pulling the plug? Are there periodic reviews and evaluation? Who pays? Who benefits? Is it worth it?
Is this a wage subsidy for employers disguised as a "feel good" environmental program? Are we encouraging an irresponsible, unsustainable type of growth?
Are we reducing road congestion? Cutting down on the number of accidents? Improving air quality? Reducing demand for parking spaces in Steamboat Springs? Improving quality of life?
Who initiated this program and why? Did they have a plan? Is it in writing or are we relying on institutional memory? Do all the subsidies fluctuate or only Steamboat's? These few numbers, out of context, only tell us that taxpayers are paying for something, and the price fluctuates due to variable demand and substantial fixed costs.
Rob- I hope you have already addressed your concern directly to NPR and Steve Inskeep. Perhaps they will see fit to broadcast a correction of the story. However, it should surprise no one that the media place strong emphasis on entertainment, and that embellishment of the truth is common.
Scott Ford- Thank you for your thoughtful response. I can tell you from my own experience, that, beyond checking that someone has the prerequisites (or core competencies, as you called it) for the job, the rest of the hiring decision is made with the gut, and it's easier to have a gut feeling about someone you have already worked with. Everyone is a hero in their resume, and even in the interview. We live in an "age of fake" where polishing one's image has been raised to a high art form and it's hard to find authenticity amidst all the glitter and hype.
Scott Wedel also raises an important point. An outsider on a career path is often seeking to carry out a signature project or achieve a particular goal that looks good on his/her resume but may not be best for the taxpayers.
I feel that Rob Douglas missed the mark last week when he suggested that we lower paid time off. We may give more than average but it is hardly excessive. It may be one of the main ingredients of the compensation package that keeps our turnover low.
I have a particular concern with turnover in the Police Dept. because I feel that intimate knowledge of the City and its residents is extremely important for someone in that privileged position. If lack of opportunity is a function of the hierarchical structure of the Department, then perhaps we need to create a new and different, flatter structure.
Overall we need to stop obsessing about what other towns are doing. We also need to back off on our reliance on expensive consultants who put on a big dog and pony show and then advise us to do what everyone else is doing. Otherwise, we'll forever be spending lots of time and money chasing the mean.
Has anybody considered driving at a safe speed? All these body counts are bringing up memories of Vietnam.
If you can't stop within your sight distance, you're driving too fast for the prevailing conditions. The posted speed limit is the maximum speed during daylight hours under optimal road conditions.
Also, I agree with the blogger who suggested a lower speed limit from the Holiday Inn into town. The current 45 mph limit is too high for such a congested area. The predictable accidents at the intersection with Pine Grove Road and the intersection with Walton Creek Road would not be so numerous if the speed limit were lowered to 35. The reduction in speed as you approach 3rd Street, on a downhill no less, is too abrupt. Drivers are still velocitized when they hit Old Town. Besides, we just spent taxpayer money to beautify our medians. Don't you want to give visitors a chance to look at them?
As far as a bike lane on Route 40, I am against it. Bikes belong on the road and a bike lane gives no assurance of safety. On the contrary, it may give cyclists the illusion of safety, and it may feed the false notion, held by some motorists, that bikes don't belong on the road.
Now, as far as riding on the Core Trail, that's dangerous! It is a multiple use trail. There are no hard and fast rules. Just when you think you've seen everything on that trail, you encounter something new.
It is way past time that the City's hiring practices saw the light of day. After all, it is taxpayers' money that is being spent on a lengthy process to scour the nation for applicants and winnow hundreds down to one. Then, we will spend more precious time and money to orient and train someone who has never set foot in this town. After they're hired they will profess their love for this "wonderful community", but a few years down the road, they will depart for the next step in their career ladder.
Maybe there is a good reason why we do it the way we do, but, since few citizens know what it is, we have a serious problem with lack of transparency and accountability.
Not long ago, I publicly expressed my view, in these blogs, that we live in a colony, not a community. Soon-to-be-City-Councilman Scott Ford publicly expressed his agreement with my view.
Mr. Ford, will you commit now to shining daylight on this long standing issue once you take your seat on Council?
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