consultants are sandburs

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

RAMSEY - In the News - from the city homepage, a link, "167th Avenue and Saint Francis Boulevard (TH 47) Node: We Want Your Input"

They really want my input, eh?

Well, I think they should spend a bundle of public money coddling the whims of property owners there and the neighbors who want to walk to pleasant and cordial retail - with others further away to pony up needed cash.

I think they should pay for it via a "franchise fee." After all, the only other way to fund public expenditure is via a good old honest "tax," while by calling it a "fee," euphemism trumps reality.

Spend a bundle to aid a few local folks, spread the cost but don't tax - franchise fee it into existence, and it will not hurt as much, like a tax would. Sure. If they say so.

Putting that aside, the operative links for information, and a date/time for a meeting, here and here, with the latter item stating:

The Planning Commission, in conjunction with the Economic Development Authority, will likely be reviewing potential amendments to the City’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan over the next several months. In order for that review to be effective, your feedback and assistance in developing a potential, new Future Land Use Map for the area is critical. We want you to be part of the process, not simply reacting to future proposals

Wow. They could fund it from the EDA budget, since it's an EDA proposal. With several hats on the table, EDA, HRA, general funds [not yet any Port Authority], spending can be hidden under any one, hiding it from the others. I have always believed, fees and taxes should ALL go into one general fund, and it would be the spending pot, and then all disbursements would have to come from it, each with its relative merits open to debate and adjustment, without any earmark, liquor taxes going to buy politicians their liquor being one not yet proposed, but, wait and see ... Time passes. Things evolve. Bureaus proliferate. Simplicity, one general fund for everything, falls by the wayside.

That "part of the process" rhetoric is a bit galling. Surely we all understand that we can participate and then not like the final outcome, but that 2030 thing was awful. The City hired a brick for a consultant, Phil whoever, and there was that parallel session thing with the temple chimes guy. Bottom line - Met Council proposes outrageously high growth quotas so that in giving it its demanded comprehensive plan the thing has so much capacity in view that developers can cherry pick. So, Ramsey being Ramsey, the administration/council authorized more, beyond the Met Council's outrageous quota, so that developers could cherry pick more, it being the goal to serve developers, or that seeming the case. It was distasteful. It was alienating. I may pass on "being part of the process" this go-round, since it is irrelevant when planners have their own minds set on - what else - doing their plans, their way, and so on, so forth.

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