[Vision2020] Smart Growth/ was Recall the city council

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Mon Mar 24 01:10:39 PDT 2008

Garrett et. al.

Thanks for your continued reasonable engagement on these issues, and not
from an ad hominem approach, very common on Vision2020, even from those who
pose as reasonable...

You wrote:

I'd say the owner of the mall isn't really concerned about building
community, on top of not caring if his tenants are losing business.
Do you really think the mall owner would want to deliberately undermine the
business interests of his tenants?  Perhaps there are reasons for the
Wheatland bus stop denial at the Palouse Mall that are unexplored, perhaps
the decision was unintentionally bad for business, if you are correct.

I agree with much of what you present on these issues, but perhaps the
intentions of those on the Moscow City Council, and other business
interests, are not as sinister as you imply?  I do not want to discount the
selfish, secretive and profit oriented motivations of business concerns, or
politicians who may be inclined to make deals with the rich and powerful,
for whatever motives, but good well intentioned people sometimes just make
bad decisions, believing they are doing the right thing, even at the top of
multinational corporations.

Consider this 2008 discussion with Jeroen van der Veer, CEO of Royal Dutch
Shell, a giant in the oil industry.  He is facing the science indicating the
dangers of anthropogenic climate change, even speaking positively about Al
Gore's efforts on this issue, as he continues to head a corporation in large
measure responsible for an energy economy loading the atmosphere with CO2.
As I unpacked his comments, I surmised he sincerely wants to ensure a
healthy planet for the future (I'm trying to be positive), but the realities
of his business and the demands of the marketplace are what they are...


The road to hell is paved with good intentions, as it has been said.

Ted Moffett

On 3/23/08, Garrett Clevenger <garrettmc at verizon.net> wrote:

> g writes:
> "I know the tactic is to repeat the lie so often it
> becomes accepted fact but, Moscow is, in fact,
> subsidizing nothing."
> I would say g is perpetuating a lie, or at least
> misinformation as I think in order to lie you have to
> be aware you are wrong, because, in fact, Moscow is
> subsidizing something.
> By providing water and sewer services, Moscow is
> saving Hawkins $4 million in development costs that
> would be needed to build infrastructure to receive
> water and dispose of sewer.  Whitman County agreed to
> fund a $10 million dollar bond to build that
> infrastructure and more.  Now Whitman County will save
> $4 million by not having to pay to build the water and
> sewer infrastructure.  I would say Moscow is
> subsidizing Whitman County's growth, if not
> necessarily Hawkins itself, because our
> infrastructure, something paid for by Moscow tax and
> rate payers, will now be stretched further, and
> perhaps need upgrades sooner, if Hawkins uses Moscow's
> water and sewer services.
> Whitman County, as far as I can tell, is not agreeing
> to give Moscow anything.  Usually subsidies expect
> something in return, so perhaps this isn't a strict
> subsidy, but a give away.
> Am I wrong in thinking the new city council could have
> rezoned an area in Moscow for Hawkins, or a Super
> Walmart?  Not that I'd want them to do it, but in
> their negotiation with Hawkins, could that not have
> been part of the negotiation, offering instead of
> selling water and sewer, the ability to build in
> Moscow?  If the new council really had Moscow's future
> at heart, instead of merely development for
> development's sake, regardless if that development
> will directly compete with Moscow, it seems the
> council had another alternative: rezone somewhere in
> Moscow to suit what seems to be a need for more
> shopping areas.
> Keep in mind, though, that considering Walmart is the
> kind of store that will close a smaller, older one to
> build a Super Center, their intent is to garner more
> market share.  They don't necessarily have the
> community's interest at heart.  I think many owners of
> these types of developments who live in another
> community really are mostly interested in their bottom
> line, not building community.
> Case in point: the owner of the Palouse Empire Mall,
> who does not live in Moscow, kicked Wheatland Express,
> the bus from Pullman to Moscow, out of the mall.  They
> no longer wanted the bus to stop at the mall because
> they thought too many people were parking at the mall
> to catch the bus there, regardless that their huge
> parking lot is very rarely full.  I take the bus daily
> and saw many people get off the bus at the mall, and
> come back with full bags of groceries from Winco, and
> other items.  I'm sure the owners of stores at the
> mall are losing thousands of dollars of business a
> year since the bus no longer stops there.  I'd say the
> owner of mall isn't really concerned about building
> community, on top of not caring if his tenants are
> losing business.
> Now the bus stops at Walmart, and most of those people
> who get off there are shopping at Walmart.  If that
> Walmart closes, I wonder if the bus will change its
> stop to Hawkins, denying Moscow the business of
> hundreds of people who come from Pullman.  I doubt the
> bus would stop at both Hawkins and the PEM or another
> store near there.
> My point is, instead of subsidizing Whitman County's
> growth by allowing another state to use our
> infrastructure, the council should have had the smarts
> to take public input on such a crucial issue to insure
> that our resources are being put towards those who
> really care about Moscow's future, rather than just
> making a buck.
> gclev
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