Dave Lorenzen: Old West and 700
October 4, 2009
Steamboat Springs — In the Old West, disputes were often resolved using a six-shooter. After attending the Steamboat 700 annexation reading Tuesday night, I see a new version of this same philosophy.
It was interesting that a representative of the out-of-state developer started their presentation urging City Council not to let fear or speculation sway its decision. They later followed this remark by injecting fear and claiming that “if this development doesn’t happen, the alternative will be far worse.” If the fear wasn’t enough, they also threatened City Council by telling it, “If this isn’t approved as is, we’re not coming back to renegotiate.”
So, City Council is led to believe that it has 13 days to hash out an agreement with this developer or the future of Steamboat will be in jeopardy.
In the old days, it was spurs, chaps, a gun and a holster. Today, it seems to be business-casual suits, unclearly worded agreement documentations, and PowerPoint presentations that look good through rose-colored glasses. I felt the gun to my head, and I was on the audience side of the table.
If this agreement is approved as presented Tuesday night, the developer has complete veto power over any changes to it. If we find after the vote that some words in the agreement don’t satisfy our expectations, we are powerless over any changes. Even if every resident of Steamboat, and every single City Council member, see the need for a change, it can’t happen without getting approval from the developer.
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