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Monday, May 19, 2008

Same As It Ever Was?

Don Harrison is being his usual sunny self. He makes the case that Richmond is being controlled by the a gang of insiders who's only ambition is to maintain a stranglehold on power. Don, it's time to stop looking at the trees and check out the forest. It's nice to have cynical people like Don around. You'd think politics in Richmond were different that any other city, when in fact the same groups compete for power all over the country, minorities, big business, small business, old elites, new arrivals. rich and poor. The only spin that Don puts on things is that Richmond is somehow unique in this.





Some cities are more successful at balancing competing interests. Other cities have more successful forms of government and are not strangles by state regulation. Many cities are newer and don't have the problems of older urban areas and some cities are actually well led, but fewer cities arouse the passion and interest that Richmond does.







When you live in the belly of the beast like I do you get an insiders view. I watched downtown stagnate for years. I could see the shell of a great past, but I didn't realize how difficult it would be to revive it. I also didn't anticipate the turmoil that would result from this badly led new form of government. Given all that's happened we have done quite well. Easily a half dozen new business will start up on Broad Street this summer. A half dozen more will start up on Grace Street. Then we have major projects coming online that will change Richmond forever. The Miller and Rhoads Hotel is well underway. The John Marshal Project looks promising and the new Federal Courthouse will add thousands of new consumers to downtown. Things are moving so rapidly that it is difficult to keep up.






Richmond same as it ever was? Give me a break. It's not even the same from one day to the next.

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5 comments:

Scott said...

You are wrong, Paul. Very wrong.

Downtown continues to receive massive amounts of corporate welfare while other neighborhoods, and more importantly, schools, are dealing with neglected and failing infrastructure. The City of Richmond is in legal and moral crisis due to its shorting of the ADA for schools budget while Center Stage cruises on taxpayer millions. It is, in fact, criminal.

Go ahead, censor this comment also. It does not change the truth.

RVA USA said...

Corporate taxes are what fund schools, ADA compliance, mass transit. Tax breaks encourage corporations to locate downtown and build infrastructure. This reduces the tax burden on homeowners. I understand that you disagree with me vehemently. There is nothing wrong with that.

Scott said...

We are not talking tax breaks for corporations, Paul. We are talking wholesale giveaway of public taxpayer dollars to private entities.

The Center Stage project will never return its "public investment". It will lose money for generations to come. Just like the Convention Center and the Broad Street CDA.

Meanwhile schools and neighborhoods go without and yet citizens are asked to pony up more and more.

Paul H said...

I disagree Scott. I think these investements are paying back big time. Read B & M for further proof. Walk down broad street at night and you will see restaurants full of people, new restaurants under construction, new stores and hundreds of new apartments. Centerstage may never fully fund itself, but it is responsible for millions of dollars in follow on investment and hundreds of new residents. These will form the core of Richmond's tax base in the coming years.

Paul H said...

I disagree Scott. I think these investements are paying back big time. Read B & M for further proof. Walk down broad street at night and you will see restaurants full of people, new restaurants under construction, new stores and hundreds of new apartments. Centerstage may never fully fund itself, but it is responsible for millions of dollars in follow on investment and hundreds of new residents. These will form the core of Richmond's tax base in the coming years.

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