consultants are sandburs

Monday, July 27, 2015

NORTHSTAR: Highly subsidized "appearances of prosperity," mistaken for the real thing by friends in St. Cloud. Yes, they should have the service extended so they share some of the growth pressures and costs; but lipstick on that pig still leaves a pig.

Sorensen reports, quoting this St. Cloud Times item, stating:

The economic benefit of the line was the largest issue supporters pushed throughout the rally.

“Look at all the places that the Northstar stops on and look at the economic vitality at those stops,” said Rev. James Alberts, chair of GRIP/ISAIAH and pastor of Higher Ground Church of God in Christ. “Right now, Anoka County has four stops in it and in every single one of those stops you can see something growing around it that was not there before.” . . .

Perceptions near and far can differ. Met Council's been pushing ramps in Anoka and in Ramsey, and they have been paid largely by local taxes with some supplemental money rebated from Met Council - state tax revenues - back to the localities that paid them. But prosperity is NOT super dense housing of the kind that gets Met Council planners salivating - but do their own planners ever choose to live there?

Super dense housing is not prosperity when it has been subsidized such as building a ramp annex on the public dime, to assuage the will and resolve of Mr. Flaherty's building of shared-wall rentals by the rails.

At least our friends in St. Cloud sit beyond Met Council reach, so they may not be pressured to "ramp up" for developer profit taking.

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