Friday, August 29, 2008

Irresponsibility, Cordish, Convention Hotels, and Game Boy Games

A few days ago, I was going to write a piece about the chutzpah of the Cordish Company for trying to prevent light rail from proceeding on most logical route to downtown. Before I got around to writing my thoughts, though, I saw that Mark Forsythe had already written a piece that caught the spirit of what I was thinking, and did it more gracefully and subtly than I could have. One sentence in particular stands out as an effective, thought-provoking analysis of the real game being played here - "Isn't the real issue the kind of people Cordish fears that public transit will bring to the district?" Go read the whole thing.

To broaden Mark's points a little, though, this little flap is typical of the kind of power plays being played by Kansas City's monied interests. Cordish and the Sprint Center CHOSE to put their project right on Grand, and talked us out of millions and millions of tax dollars to do it. We put our faith in their ability to deliver a solid business plan - after all, they're smart, professional business people, right? Everybody who knew anything about Kansas City knew that we were looking at developing light rail down Grand. If they were truly foolish enough to create a business plan that hinges on Kansas City shunning light rail, well, cry me a river. We might as well shut down the Power and White District now, because the people running it must be fools.

In another example of taxpayers being looked at to bail out bad business decisions, a lot of people are now claiming that we need to divert tax dollars from our schools and streets and police officers so that we can build a big, fancy convention hotel. What?!?! When they built the convention center, did they or did they not anticipate this "need"? If they did, then they should have included it in their plans in the first place, and budgeted for it. If they didn't, and it really is necessary, well, too bad, so sad. You screwed up, and I don't want to give you any more money after you've demonstrated you won't spend it wisely. What will you "need" next?

When my son was very young, he wanted to buy a Gameboy. He saved his nickels and dimes, and did extra chores, until he had the money. I asked him about how much games would cost him, and he had prepared a list of games he wanted to buy and how much they cost. He had planned out how he would continue to save for each game, and how long he expected it to take. The kid had a business plan, and it didn't hinge on his old man stepping in and bailing him out.

Is it too much to ask our development community to show the same level of responsibility?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you support the writings of someone who writes stuff like this?

8/29/2008 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to read the piece, except that I once commented on Forsythe's blog and mentioned that I thought he was a wuss. He banned me from his blog!!
A guy who can't take heat is not fit for public office.

8/30/2008 2:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on Greg. That's a bit of an overstatement isn't it? Banned? Who is the wuss? The guy with his name on his blog or the anonymous hack trying to take down any potential competition for his wife?

8/30/2008 2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know who Greg is.
I don't know what to think of the fact that you branded me an anonymous hack while posting anonymously.
I have a good reason to post anonymously. This city has become full of vindictive people. I generally post under the name of CDM2P and I'd like to belive that I bring good insight and good commentary.
Forsythe is thin-skinned. That sums up his fitness for office. The heat is intense. Gone are the days of statesmanship. The name of the game now is dog-eat-dog and Forsythe is wearing milkbone underwear.

8/30/2008 7:01 PM  

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